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Full text of "A call to the unconverted, to turn and live, and accept of mercy while mercy may be had: containing directions and persuasions to a sound conversion"

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CoUected  by 

JARED  Sparks,  LL.D., 

President  of  Harvard  College. 

Purchased  by  the  Cornell  University, 

Cornell  University  Ubrary 
BV4920  .B35  1816 

rf.ii   to  turn  and  iw 
Call  to  the  unco.nverted,,,to,i^^^^^^ 


Cornell  University 

The  original  of  tliis  bool<  is  in 
tine  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 




3Cmn  am  JLiH, 




TO  A 




Then  viU  I  teach  transgresson  th;  vajs;  and  sinnen  shall  be  converted  nnto  thee. 
Fa.  li.  13. 

'    For  I  have  no  pleasure  in  the  death  of  him  that  dieth,  saith  the  Lord  Ood;  vherefore 
turn  yourselves^  and  live  ye. — Ezek.  xviii.  32. 

Repent  ye  therefore,  and  be  converted,  that  your  sins  may  ne  blotted  out,  when  the 
times  of  re&esblng  shall  come  from  the  presence  of  the  >Lord. — Acts  Ui.  I9. 

^  jQefn  (EEDition. 





'<  tIBRARV  / 


S.  Jackson,  Printer,  Romsey,  Haat^. 

The  GREAT  SUCCESS  which  attended  the  CALL, 
when  first  published. 

1  HE  following  Account  of  the  CM  to  the  Unconverted  was  found 
in  Mr.  Baxter's  study  after  his  death,  in  his  own  handwriting: 

"  I  published  a  small  treatise  on  conversion,  entitled,  A  Call 
to  the  Unconverted.  The  occasion  of  this  was  my  converse  with 
Bishop  Usher,  while  I  was  at  London,  who,  approving  my  method 
and  directions  for  Peace  nf  Conscience,  was  importunate  with  me 
to  write  directions  suited  to  the  various  states  of  Christians,  and 
■also  agaiiist  particular  sins:  1  reverenced  the  man,  but  disregarded 
these  persuasions,  supposing  I  could  do  nothing  but  what  is  done 
■  better  already ;  but  when  he  was  dead,  his  words  went  deeper  to 
my  mind,  and  I  purposed  to  obey  his  counsel ;  yet  so  as  that  to  the 
first  sort  of  men  {the  ungodly)  I  thought  vehement  persuasions 
meeter  than  directions  only;  and  so  for  such  I  published  this  little 
book,  which  God  hath  blessed  with  unexpected  success,  beyond 
all  the  rest  that  I  have  written,  except  77te  Saints'  Rest,  In  a 
liftle  more  than  a  year,  ■  there  were  about  twentt/  thousand  of  them 
printed  by  my  own  consent,  and  about  ten  thousand  since,  besides 
many  thousands  by  stolen  impressions,  which  poor  men  stole  for 
lucre  sake.  Through  God's  mercy,  I  have  information  of  almost 
whole  hCustiholds  converted  by  this  small  Book,  which  I  set  so 
light  by;  and,  as  if' all  this  in  Eitgltmd,  Scotland,  and  Ireland,  were 
not  mercy  enough  to  me,  God  (since  I  was  sileucied)  hath  sent 
it  over  on  his  message  to  many  beyond 'the  seas;  for  when  Mr. 
Elliot  had  printed  all  the  Bible  in  the  Indian  language,  he  next 
translated  this' my  Call  to  the  Unconverted,  as  he  wrote  to  us  here. 
And  yet  God  would  make  some  further  use  of  it;  for  Mr.  Stoop, 
the  pastor  of  the  French  Church  in  London,  being  driven  hence 
by  the  displeasure  of  superiors,  was  pleased  to  translate  it  into 
JVeiicA;  I  hope  it  will  not  be  unprofitable  there :  nor  in  Germany, 
where  it  is  printed  in  Dutch." 

Dr.  Calamy,  in  his  account  of  this  work,  says,  "  In  1657,  Mr» 
Baxter  published  A  Call  to  the  Unconverted ;  a  book  blessed  by 
God, with  marvellous  success,  in  reclaiming  persons  from  their 
impieties.  Twenty  thousand  of  them  were  printed  and  dispersed 
in  little  more  than  a  year.  It  was  translated  into  French  and  Dutchr 
and  other  European  languages:  and  Mr.  Elliot  translated  it 
into  the  Indian  languages:  and  Mr.  Cotton  Mather,  in  his 
life,  gives  an  account  of  an  '^Indian  prince,  who  was  so  well  affected 
with  this  book,  that  he  sat  reading  it,  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  till  he 

CO'NTEKrs  .... 



Reason  of  this  Work 21 



I.  It  is  the  unchangeable  Law  of  God,  that  wicked 

men  must  turn  or  die 26 

II.  It  is  the  promise  of  God,   that  the  wicked  shall 

live,  if  they  will  but  turn "  •     .     .52 

III.  God  takes  pleasure  in  men's  conversion  and  sal- 
vatianj  but  not  in  their  death  or 'damnation:  he. 
had  rather  they  would  turn  and  live,  than  go  on 
and  die 58 


IV.  The  Lord  has  confirmed  to  us  by  his  bath,  that  he  , 

has  no  pleasure  in  the  death  of  the  wicked     .     .     65 

V.  So  earnest  is  God  for  the  conversion  of  sinners, 
that  he  doubles  his  commands  and  exhortations 
with  vehemency,  Turn  ye,  turn  yej  why  will 
ye  die  ? •.     .     .     ,     .73 

VI.  The  Lord  condescends  to  reason  the  case  with  un- 
converted sinners,  and  to  ask  them  why  they  will 
die? 86 

VI] .  If,  after  all  this,  men  will  not  turn,  it  "is  not  owing 
to  God  that  they  are  condemned,  but  of  them- 
selves, even    their   own  wilfulness.      They   die 
:  because  they  will  die;  that  is,  because  they  will 

not  turn 107 

Directions  to  Sinners,  that  are  purposed  to  turn,  and  are 
lundei-  the  work  of  Conversion,  that  it  miscarry  not       .  133 


To  all  unsanctified  Persons  that  shall  read  this  Book: 
especially  of  my  Hearers  in  the  Borough  and 
Parish  of  Kidderminster. 


Thk^  eternal  GoB,  that  made  you  for  a  life  ever- 
lasting, and  haith  redeemed  you  by  his  only  Son 
when  you  had  lost  it  and  yourselves,  being  mindful 
of  ybu  in  your  sin  and  misery,  hath  endited  the 
gQspel,  and  sealed  it  by  his  Spirit,  and  commanded 
his  ministers  to  preach  it  to  the  world,  that  pardon 
being  freely  offered  you,  and  heaven  been  set  before 
you,  he  might  call  you  off  from  your  fleshly  pleasures, 
and  from  following  after  this  deceitful  world,  and 
acquaint  you  with  the  life  that  you  were  created  and 
redeemed  for,  before  you  are  dead  and  past  remedy. 
He  sendeth  you  not  prophets  or  apostles,  that  receive 
their  message  by  immediate  revelation ;  but  yet  he 
calleth  you  by  his  ordinary  ministers,  who  are  com- 
missioned by  him  to  preach  the  same  gospel  which 
Christ  and  his  Apostles  first  delivered.  The  Lord 
seeth  how  you  forget  him  and  your  latter  end,  and 
how  light  you  mi^ke  of  everlasting  things,  as  men 
that  understand  not  what  they  have  to  do  or  suffer. 
He  seeth  how  bold  you  are  in  sin,  and  how  fearless 
of  his  threatenings,  and  how  careless  of  your  souls, 
and  how  the  works  of  infidels  are  in  your  lives,  while 



the  belief  of  Christians  is  in  your  mouths.  He  seeth 
the  dreadful  day  at  hand,  when  your  sorrows,  will 
begin,  and  you  must  lament  all  this  with  fruitless 
cries  in  torment;  and  desperation ;  and  then  the 
remembrance  of  your  folly  will  tear  your  hearts,  if 
true  conversion  now  prevent  it  not.  In  compassion 
of  your  sinful  miserable". souls,  the  Lord,  that  better 
knows  your  case  than  you  can  know  it,  hath  made  it 
our  duty  to  speak  to  you  in  his  name,  2  Cor.  y.  19. 
and  to  tell  you  plainly  of  yo"""  sin  and  misery,  and 
what  will  be  your  end,  and  how  sad  a  change  you 
will  shortly  see,  if  yet  you  go  on  a  little  longer. 
Having  bought  you  at  so  dear  a  rate  as  the  blood 
of,  his  Son  Jesus  Christ,  and  riiad^  you  so  free  and 
general  a  promise  of  pardon,  and  grace,  and  ever- 
lasting glory ;  he  commandeth  us  to  tender  all  this  to 
you,  as  the  gift  of  God,  and  to  intreat  you  to  consider 
of  the  necessity  and  worth  of  what  he  oflFereth.  He 
seeth  and  pitieth  you,  Vvhile  you  are  drowned  iri 
worldly  cares  and. pleasures,  and  eagerly  following 
childish  toysj  and  wasting  that  short  and  precious 
time  f6j:  a  thing  of  nought,  in  which  you  should  make 
ready  for  an  everlasting  life;  and  therefore  he  hath 
commanded  us  to  call  after  youj  and  tell  you  how 
you  lose  your  labour,  and  are  about  to  lose  your 
souls,  and  to  tell  you  what  greater  and  better  thing^ 
you  might  certainly  have,  if  you  would  hearken  to 
his  CffiZ/,  Isa.  Iv.'  I,  2,  3.  We  believe  and  obey  the 
voice  of  God ;  and  come  to  you'on  his  messagej  who, 
hath  charged  us  to  preach,  and  be  instant  with  you  in 
season  and  out  of  season,  and  to  lift  up  our  voice  like 
a  trumpet,  and  show  you  your  transgressions  and 
your  sins,  Isa.  Iviii.  1, 2.-2  Tim.  iv.  1,  2.  But  alas! 
to  the  grief  of  our  souls  and  your  undoing,  you  stop 
yoiir  ears,  you  stiffen  your  necks,  you  harden  your 


hearts,  and  send  us  back  to  God  with  groans,  to  tell 
him  that  we  have  done  his  message,  but  can  do  no 
good  on  jou,  nor  scarcely  get  a  sober  hearing.  Oh, 
that  our  eyes  were  as  a  fountain  of  tears,  that  we 
might  lament  our  ignorant  careless  people,  that  have 
Christ  before  them,  and  pardon,  and  life,,  and  heaven 
before  them,  and  have  not  hearts  to  know  or  value 
them  !  that  might  have  Christ,  and  grace,  and  gldry, 
Bs  well  as  others,  if  it  were  not  for  their  wilful  negli- 
gencie  and  contempt !  O  that  the  Lord  would  fill  our 
hearts  with  more  compassion  to  these  miserable  souls, 
that  we  might  cast  ourselves  even  at  their  feet,  and 
follow  them  to  their  houses,  and  speak  to  them  with 
our  bitter  tears.  For,  long  have  we  preached  to  many 
of  them  in  vain  :  we  study  plainness  to  make  them 
■understand,  and  many  of  them  will  not  understand 
us:  we  study  serious  piercing  words,  to  niake  them 
feel,  but  they  will  not  feel.  If  the  greatest  matters 
would  work  with  them,  we  should  awake  them;  if 
the  stoeetest  things  would  work,  we  should  entice 
tbera  and  win  their  hearts ;  if  th^  ijiost  dreadful 
things  would  work,  we  should  at  least  affright  them 
from  their  wickedness;  \i  truth  axiA  Certainty  would 
take  with  them,  we  should  soon  convince  them ;  if 
the  God  that  made  them,  and  the  Christ  that  bought 
them,  might  be  heard,  the  case  would  soon  be  altered 
with  them ;  ii  scripture  might  be  heard,  we  should 
soon  prevail ;  if  reason,  even  the  best  and  strongest 
reason,  might  be  heard,  we  should  not  doubt  but  we 
should  speedily  Convince  them  ;  if  experience  might 
be  heard,  even  their  own  experience  and  the  experi- 
ence of  all  the  world,  the  matter  would  be  mended; 
3>ea,  if  the  conscience  within  them  might  be  heard, 
the  case  would  be  better  with  them  than  it  is.  But 
if  nothing  can  be  heard,  what  then  shall  we  do  for 


them?  If  the  dreadful  God  of  heaven  be  slighted* 
who  then  shall  be  regarded  ?  If  the  inestiniable  love 
and  blood  of  a  Redeemer  be  made  light  of,  vphat  then 
shall  be  valued  ?  If  heaven  have  no  desirable  glory 
with  them,  and  everlasting  joys  be  nothing  worth ;  if 
they  can  jest  at  hell,  and  dance  about  the  bottomless 
pit,  and  play  with  the  consuming  fire,  and  that  when 
God  and  miin  do  warn  them  of  it ;  what  shall  we  do 
for  such  souls  fis  these  ? 

Once  more,  in  the  name  of  the  God  of  heaven, 
I  shall  do  the  message  to  you  which  he  hath  com- 
mapded  us,  and  leave  it  in  these  standing  lines  to 
convert  you  or  condemn  you  ;  to  change  youy  or  rise 
up  in  judgment  against  you,  and  to  be  a  witness  to 
your  faces,  that  once  you  had  a  serious  call  to  turn. 
Hear  ail  you  that  are  drudges  of  the  world,  and  the 
servants  of  flesh  and  Satan  \  that  spend  your  days  in 
looking  after  prosperity  on  earth,  and  drown  your 
conscie«ices  in  drinking,  and  gluttony,  and  idleness, 
and  foolish  sports,  and  know  your  sin,  and  y«t  will 
sin,  as  if  you  §et  God  at  defiance,  and  bid  him  do  his 
worst  and  spare  not  I  Hearken,  all  you  that  mind 
not  God,  and  have  no  heart  to  holy  things,  and  feel 
no  savour  in  the  word  or  worship  of  the  Lord,  or  in 
the  thoughts  or  Qiention  of  eternallife,  that  are  care- 
less of  your  immortal  souls,  and  never  bestow  one 
hour  in  inquiring  what  case  they  are  in,  whether 
sanctified  or  unsanctified,  and  whether  you  are  ready 
to  appear  before  the  Lord !  Hearken  all  you  that, 
by  sinning  in  the  light,  have  sinned  yourselves  into 
infidelity,  and  do  pot  believe  the  word  of  God  !  He 
that  hath  an  ear  to  hear,  let  hini  hear  the  gracious 
and  yet  dreadful  call  of  God  !  His  eye  is  all  this  while 
upon  you.  Your  sins  are  registered,  and  you  shall 
gurely  hear  of  them  all  again.   God  keepeth  the  book 


now  ;  and  he  will  write  it  all  upon  your  consciences 
•with -his  terrors;  apd  then  you  also  shall  keep  it 
yourselves.  O  sinners,  that  you  knew  but  what  you 
are  doing,  and  whom  you  are  all  this  while  offending! 
The  sun  itself  is  darkness  before  the  glory  of  that 
Majesty,  which  yrou  daily  abuse,  and  carelessly  pro- 
voke. The  sinning  angels  were  not  able  to  stand 
before  him,  but  were  cast  down  to  be  tormented' with 
devils.  And  dar^e  such  silly  worms  as  yqu  so  care- 
lessly offend,  and  set  yourselves  against  your  Maker! 
O  that  you  did  but  a  little  know  what  case  that 
wretched  soul  is  in,  that  hath  engaged  the  living  God 
against  him !  The  word  of  his  mouth,  that  made  thee, 
can  unmake  thee;  the  frown  of  his  face  will  cut 
thee  off,  and  cast  thee  out  into  utter  darkness.  How 
eager  are  the  devils  to  be  doing  with  thee  that  have 
tempted  thee,  and  do  but  wait  for  the  word  from 
God,  to  take  and  use  thee  as  their  own,  and  then  in 
a  moment  thou  wilt  be  in  hell !  If  God  be  against 
thee,  all  things  are  against  thee  :  this  world  is  but  thy 
prison  ;  for  all  thou  so  lovest  it,  thou  art  but  reserved 
in  it  to  the  day  of  wrath.  Job  xxi.  30;  the  Judge  is 
coming,  thy  soul  is  even  going.  Yet  a  little  while, 
and  thy  friend  shall  say  of  thee.  He  is  dead;  and  thou 
shalt  see  the  things  that  thou  now  dost  despise,  and 
feel  that  which  now  thou  wilt  not  believe.  Death 
will  bring  such  an  argument  as  thou  canst  not  answer; 
an  argument  that  shall  effiectually  confute  thy  cavils 
against  the  word  and  ways  of  God,  and  all  thy  self- 
couiceited  dotages.  And  then  how  soon  will  thy 
mind  be  changed?  Then  be  ah  unbeliever,  if  thou 
canst;  stand  then  to  all  thy  former  words,  which 
thou  wast  wont  to  utter  against  a  holy  and  a  heavetily 
life.  Make  good  that  cause  then  before  Jhe  Lord, 
^hicb  tbou  wast  wont  to  plead  against  thy  teachers, 


and  against  the  people  that  feared  God.  Then  stand 
to  thy  old  opinions' and  contemptuous  thoughts  of 
the  diligence  of  the  saints;  make  ready  now  thy 
strongest  reasons,  and  stand  up  then  before  the  Judge, 
and  plead  like  a  man  for  thy  fleshly,  thy  worldly  and 
ungodly  life.  But  know  that  thou  wilt  have  one  to 
plead  with,  that  will  not  be  outfaced  by  thee;  nor 
so  easily  put  off  as. we  thy  fellow-creatures.  O  poor 
soul !  there  is  nothing  but  a  slender  vail  of  flesh 
between  thee  and  that  amazing  sight,  which  will 
quickly  silence  thee,  and  turn  thy  tone,  and  make 
thee  of  another  mind  !  As  soon  as  death  hath  drawn 
this  curtain,  thou  shalt  see  that  which  will  quickly 
]eave  thee  speechless.  Apd  how  quickly  will  that 
day  and  hour  come  !  When  thou  hast  had  but  a  few 
more  merry  hours,  and  but  a  few  more  pleasant 
draughts  and  jnorsels,  and  a  little  more  of  the  honours 
and  riches  of  the  world,  ihy  portion  will  be  spent,  and 
thy  pleasures  ended,— and  all  is  then  gone  that  thou 
settest  thy  heart  upon  ;  of  all  that  thou  soldest  thy 
Saviour  and  salvation  for,  there  is'  nothing  left  but 
the'  heavy  reckoning.  As  a  thief,  that  sits  merrily 
spending  the  money  in  an  alehouse,  whi^h  he  hath 
stolen,  when  men  are  riding  in  posthaste  to  appre- 
hend him,  so  is  it  with  you.  While  you  are  drowned 
in  cares  or  fleshly  pleasures,  and  making  merry  with 
your  own  shame,  death  is  coming  in  posthaste  to 
seize  upon  yoii,  and  carry  your  souls  to  such  a  place 
and  state,  as  now  you  little  know  or  think  of.  Sup- 
pose, when  you  are  bold  and  busy  in  your  sin,  that 
a  messenger  were  but  coming  post  from  London,  to 
apprehend  you  and  lake  aWay  your  lives  ;  though  you 
saw  him  not,  yet,  if  you  knew  that  he  was  coming, 
jt  would  mar  your  mirth,  and  you  would  be  thinking 
pf  the   haste  he  makes,  and   hearkening  when  he 


knocked  at  your  door.     O  that  you  could  but  see 
what  haste  death  makes,  though  he  has  tiot  yet  over- 
taken you  !    No  post  so  swift !    No  messenger  more 
sure !    As  sure  as  the  sun  will  be  with  you  in  the 
mornings  though  it  hath  many  thousand  and  hundred 
thousand  miles  to  go  in  the  night,  so  sure  will  death 
be  quickly  with  you;  and  then  where  is  your  sport 
and  pleasure  ?    Then  will  you  jest  and  brave  it  out  ? 
Then  will  you  jeer  at  them  that  warned  you  ?    Then 
is  it  better  to  be  a  believing  saint  or  a  Sensual  world- 
ling?   And  thervwhose  shall  all  these  things  he  that 
you  have  gathered  ?    Luke  xii.  19,  20,  21.     Do  you 
not  observe  theit  days  and  weeks  are  quickly  gone, 
and  nights  and  mornings  come  apace,  and  speedily 
succeed  each  other  ?    You  sleep,  but  your  damnation, 
slumhereth  not ;  you  linger,  hut  your  judgment  this 
long  time  lingereth  not,  2  Pet.  ii.  3,  4,  5,  to  which 
you  are   reserved  for  punishment,   S  Pet.  ii.  8,  9. 
O  that  you  were  wise  to  understand  this,  and  that  you 
,  did  consider  your  latter  end !   Deut.  xxxii.  29.     He 
that  hath  an  ear  to  hear,  let  him  hear  the  call  of  God 
in  this  day  of  his  salvation. 

O  careless  sinners !  that  you  did  but  know  the  love 
that  you  unthankfully  neglect,  and  the  preciousnesS 
of  the  blood  of  Christ  which  you  despise  !  O  that  you 
did  but  know  the  riches  of  the  gospel !  O  that  yon  did 
but1<noWi,  a  little  know,  the  certainty,  and  the  glory, 
and  blessedness  of  that  everlasting  life,  which  now 
you  willnot  set  your  hearts  upion,  nor  be  persuaded 
first  and  diligently  to  seek,  Heb.  xi.  6;  and  xii.  28. 
Matth.  vi.  13.  Did  you  but  know  the  .endless  life 
'with  God,  which  you  now  neglect-,  how  quickly 
would  you  cast  away  your  sin,  how  quickly  would 
you  change  your  mind  and  life,  your,  course  and 
company,  arid  turn  the  streao^s  ot  your  affections^ 


and  lay  your  care  Another  way !  How  resolutely 
would  you  scorn  to  yield  to  such  temptations  as  now 
deceive  you  and  carry  you  away!  How  zealously 
would  you  bestir  yourselves  for  that  most  blessed 
life  !  How,  earnest  would  you  be  with  God  in  prayer! 
How  diligent  in  bearing,  and  learning,  and  inquir- 
ing! How  serious  in  meditating  on  the  laws  of  God! 
(Psal.  i.  3.)  How  fearful  of  sinning  in  thought*,  word, 
and  deed;  and  how  careful  to  please  God,  and  grow 
in  holiness !  O  what  a  changed  people  you  would 
be  !  And  why  should  not  the  certain  word  of  God  be 
believed  by  you,  and  prevail  with  you,  which  openeth 
to  you  these  glorious  and  eternal  things  ? 

Yea,  let  me  tell  you,  that  even  here  on  earth,  you 
little  know  the  difference  between   the  life  which 
you, refuse,  and  the  life  which  you  choose.     The 
sanctified  are  conversing  with  God,  when  you  dare 
scarce  think  of  him,  and  when  you  are  converging, 
with  but  earth  and  flesh.     Their  conversation  is  in 
heaven,  when  you  are  utter  strangers  to  it,  and  ydur 
belly  is  your  god,  and  you  are  minding  earthly  things, 
Phil.  iii.  18,  19,  20.    They  are  seeking  after  the  face 
of  God,  when  you  seek  for  nothing  higher  than  this 
world.     They  are  busily  laying  out  for  an  endless 
life,   where  they  shall   be   equal   with   the  angels, 
Luke  XX.  36,  when  you  are  taken  up  with  a  shadow, 
and  a  transitory  thing  of  nought.    How  low  and  base 
is  your  earthly,  fleshly,  sinful  life,  in  comparison  of 
the  noble,  spiritual  life  of  true  believers !  Many  a  time 
have  I  looked  on  such  men  with  grief  and  pity,  to  see 
them  trudge  about  the  world,  and  spend  their  lives, 
and  care,  and  labour,  for  nothing  but  a  little  food  and 
raiment,  or  a  little  fading  pelf,  or  fleshly  pleasures,  or 
empty  honours,  as  if  they  had  no  higher  things  to 
mind.     What  difference  is  there  between  the  lives 


ofthase  men  and  of  the  beasts  that  perish,  tlwit  spend 
their  time  in  working  and  eating,  and  living,  bitt 
that  they  may  live?  They  taste  not  of  the  inward 
heavenly  pleaSurea,  which  believers  taste  and  live 
upon.  I  had  rather  have  a  little  of  their  oomJfeiW, 
which  the  forethought*  of  theip  heavenly  inheritance 
afford  them,  thlough  I  >b<ad  all  their  scorns  and  sufier- 
iirga  M^itfa,  it,  than  to  have  «U  your /fiil^&Sqri^s,  and 
trieach«rousvApr:(i>pperity.  'I',wD.uld  not  have. one  of 
your  secret  gripes  and  pangs  of  conscience,  .gti^xdarJi 
and  dreadful)  th^U^ts  of  death  and  ^t^e  U|e  to  coioet 
for  all  that  ev^r  the  world  h?ith,  done  for  you,  orij^U 
that  you  can  refls©n8^bly^bople  itliaj  it  should  do,  \{ 
I  weBftjin  yO'U>r;i]nq(WiV,^ted  carnaj  state,  '^nd^ncw 
but  what  I  know,  and,  believed  but  iwbat  I  ,no.w 
feiieve,  ,m«lhjrtka  my  Ijjfe.' w«uld  ifpretaste  qf 
hell:  How  oft  should  L be  thiokiog  of  the  tericqES 
of  the  L6>Fd,  and  of  the.di^jwal'  day,  that  is  ,feast^ping 
on !  ^Sufely  death  and  hell  would  ,bie  still  befere  me. 
I  should  think  of  them  by  day*,  and^dreaw  of  tfaem  by 
night;  LsJjoiOild  lie  down  in  fear,  and  rise  in  feft5i  and 
live  in  festx,  lest  d^th  should  come  before  I  were 
converted.  I.shojaJd  bav^  s^mall  felicity  in  any,tbing 
that  I  possessed,  and  little  pleasure  in  any  company, 
and  little'joy  in  any  thing  in  the  world,  as  long  as 
I  knew  myself  to  be  under  the  curse  and  wrath  of 
God.  I  should  be  still  afraid  of  hearing  that  voice, 
Luke  xii.  20.  Thou  fool,  4his  night  shall  thy  soul 
be  required^  of  thee.  And  that  fearful  sen-teriGe  would 
be  written  upon  my? conscience,  Isa,  x.lviii.  22,  and 
Ivii.  2i.  There  is  nopeace,  miihmyJSf^  t»themqhe4. 
O  poor  sinners!  It  is  ajoyfuller  life  than  this^  that 
you  might  Hve,  if  you  were  but  willing ^  hut  truly 
willing  to  keUrken  to  Christ,  and  come  home  to  God. 
You  might  then  draw  near  to  God  with  boldness,  and 

10  THE    PSBFACK< 

call  him  your  Father,  and  comfortably  trust  bim 
with  your  souls  and  bodies.  If  you  look  upon  the 
promises,  you  may  say,  they  are  aU  mine^  If  upott 
the  cursi,  you  may  say,  from  this  I  am  delaiered. 
When  you  read  the  law,  you  may  see  what  you  are 
saved  from.  When  you  read  the  gospel,  you  may 
see  him  that  Jredeemed  you,  and  see  the  course  of  his 
love,  and  holy  life,  and  sufferings,  and  trace  him  in 
his  temptations,  tears,  and  blood,  in  the  work  of  your 
salvation.  You  may  see  death  conquered,  and  heaven 
openedj  and  your  resurrection  and  glorification  pro- 
vided for  in  the  resurrection  and  glorification  of  your 
Lord.  If  you  look  on  the  saints,  you  may  say,  thi6g 
at*e  my  brethren  and  companions.  If  on  the  unsanc- 
tified,  you  may  rejoice  to  think  that  you  are  saved 
from  that  state.  If  you  look  upon  the  heavens,  the 
sun,  and  moon,  and  stars  innumerable,  you  may 
think  and  say,  My  Father's  face  is  Infinitely  more 
glorious;  it  is  higher  matters  that  he  hath  prepared 
for  his  saints;  yonder  is  hut  the  outward  court  of 
heaven.  The  blessedness  that  he  hath  promised  me  is 
so  much  higher,  thatfltish  and  blood  cannot  behold  it. 
If  you  think  of  the  grave,  you  may  remember  that 
the  gloried  spirit,  a  living  head,  and  a  loving  father, 
have  all  so  near  a  relation  to  your  dust,  that  it  cannot 
be  forgotten  or  neglected,  but  will  more  certainly 
revive  than  the  plants  and  flowers  in  the  spring, 
beeaiuse  that  the  soul  is  still  alive  that  is  the  root  of 
the  body ;  and  Christ  is  alive,  that  is  the  root  of  .both. 
Even  death,  which  is  the  Iting  of  fears,  may  be 
remembered  and^e»tertained  with  joy,  as  being  the 
day  of  your  deliverance  from  the  remnant  of  sin  and 
sorrow,  and  the  day  which  you  believed,  and  hoped,' 
and  waited  for,  when  you  shall  see  the  blessed  things 
which  you  had  heard  of,  and  shall  find  by  present 


joyful  experience  what  it  was  to  choose  the  better 
part,  and  to  be  a  sincere  believing  sainti  Wl?at  say 
you.  Sirs  ?  Is  not  this  a  more  delightful  fife,  to  be 
assi/ted  of  salvation,  and  ready  to  die,  than  to  live  as 
the  ungodly,  that  have  their  hearts  overcharged  with 
surfeiting,  and  drunkenness,  and  the  cares  of  this  life, 
and  so  that  day  come  upon  them  unawares?  Luke 
xxi.  34 — 36.  Might  you  not  live  a  comfortable  life, 
if  once  you  were  made  the  heirs  of  hesiven,  and  sure 
to  be  saved  when  you  leave  the  world  ?  O  look  about 
you  then,  and  t^ink  what  you  do,  and  cast  not  away 
such  hopes  as  these  for  very  nothing  !  The  flesh  and 
world  can  give  you  no  such  hopes  or  comforts. 

And  besides  all  the  misery  that  you  bring  upon 
yourselves,  you  are  the  troublers  of  others  as  long  as 
you  are  unconverted.  You  trouble  magistrates  to 
rule  you  by  their  laws :  you  trouble  ministers,  by 
resisting  the  light  and  guidance  which  they  offer  you.. 
Your  sin  and  misery  are  the  greatest  grief  and  trouble 
to  them  in  the  world.  You  trouble  the  common- 
wealth, and  draw  the  judgments  of  God  upon  you. 
It  is  you  that  most  disturb  the  holy  peace  and  order 
of  the  churches,  and  hinder  our  union  and  reforma- 
tion, and  are  the  shame  and  trouble  of  the  churches 
wbere  you  intrude,  and  of  the  places  where  you  are. 
Ah  Lord  !  how  heavy  and  sad  a  case  is  this,  that, 
even  in  England,  where  the  gospel  doth  abound  above 
any  other  nation  in  the  world  ;  where  teaching  is  so 
plain  and  common,  and  all  the  helps  we  candesire 
are  at  hand  ;  when  the  sword  has  been  hewing  us,  and 
judgment  has  run  as  a  fire  through  the  land;  when 
deliverpnces  have  relieved  us,  apd  so  many  admirable 
mercies  have  engaged  us  to  God,  and  to  the  gospel, 
and  a  holy  life;  that,  after  all  thisj  our  cities,  and 
towns,  and  countries,  shall  abound  with  multitudes 


of  vinSanCtified  men,  and  swarm  with  so  much  sen- 
suality, as  every-wherej  to  our  grie£,  we  see!    One 
would  have  thought,  that,  after  all  this  light,  and  all 
thJs,esperience,'and  all  these  j  udgments  and  mercies 
of  God,  the  people  of  this  nation  should  have  joined 
together  as  one  man,  to  turn  to  the  Lord,  and  should 
have  come  to  their  godly  teacher,  and  lamented  all 
their  former  sins,  and  desired  hira  to  join  withjhem, 
in  public. humiliation,  to  confess  thetn  openly,  and  > 
h^  pardon  of  theta  from  the  Lord,  and  should  have 
craved  bis  instruction  for  the  time  to  come,  and  be 
glad  to  be  ruled  by  the  spirit  within,  and  the  ministers 
of  Christ  without,  according  to  the  word  of  God. 
One  would  think  that,  after  such  reason  and  scrip- 
ture evidence  as  they  hear,  and  after  all  these  means 
and  mercies,  there  should  not  be  an  ungodly  person 
left  among  us,  nor  a  worldling, 'nor  a  drunkard,  or 
a  hater  of  reformation,  or  qn  enemy  to  holiness,  to  be 
found  in  all  our  towns  and  countries.     If  we  be  not 
all  agreed  ab{>ut  sdme  ceremonies  or  forms  of  govern- 
ment, orte  would  think,  that  before  this  we  should 
have  been  agreecj  to  live  a  holy  and  heavesnly  life, 
in  obedience  to  God,  his  word,  and  ministers,  and  in 
love  and  peace  with  one  another.     But  alas,  how  far 
are  our  people  from  this  course!    Most  of  them,  in 
post  places,  do  set  their  hearts  on  earthly  things,  and 
seek  notjirst  the  kingdom  of  God  and  the  righteous- 
ness thereof,  but  look  at  holiness  as  a  needless  thing: 
their  families  are,  jjrayerless,  or  else  a  few  heartless, 
lifeless  words  must  serve  instead  of  hearty^  fervent 
daily  prayers  (or  perhaps  only  on  the  Lord's^dat/,-  in 
the  evening)  j  their  children  are  not  taught  the  know- 
ledge of  Christ,    and  the  covenant  of  grace,    nor 
brought  up  in  the  nurture  of  the  Lord,  though  they 
firiodly  promised  all  this  in  their  baptism. 

THE    PREFACE.  13 

•  They  instruct  not  their  servants  in  the  matters  of 
salvation ;  but  so  their  work  be  done,  they  care  not. 
There  are  more  railing  speeches  in  their  families  than 
gracious  words  that  tend  to  edification.  How  few 
are  the  families  that  fear  the  Lord,  and  inquire  at  his 
word  and  ministers  how,  they  should  live,  and.  what 
they  should  do,  and  are  willing  to  be  taught  and 
ruled,  and  that  heartily  look  after  everlasting  life! 
and  those  few  that  God  hath  made  so  happy,  are 
commonly  the  by-word  pf  their  neighbours.  When 
we  see  some  live  in  drunkenness,  and  some  in  pride 
and  worldliness,  and  most  of  them  have  little  care  of 
their  salvation,  though  the  cause  be  gross,  and  past 
all  controversy,  yet  will  they  hardly  be  convinced 
of  their  misery,  and  more  hardly  recovered  and 
reformed ;  but  when  we  have  done  all  that  we  are 
able,  to  save  them  from  their  sins,  we  leave  the  most 
of  them  as  we  find  them :  and  if,  according  to  the 
law  of  God,  we  cast  them  out  of  the  communion 
of  the  church,  when  they  have  obstinately  rejected 
all  our  admonitions,  -they  rage  at  us  as  if  w6  were 
their  enemies,  and  their  hearts  are  filled  with  malice 
against  us,  and  they  wijl  sooner  set  themselves  against 
the  Lord  and  his  laws,  and  church,  and  ministers, 
than  against  their  deadly  sins.  This  is  the  doleful 
case  of  England  :  we  have  magistrates  that  counte- 
nance the  ways  of  godliness,  sind  a  happy  opportunity 
for  utiity  and  reformation  •  is  before  us,  and  faithful 
ministers  long  to  see  the  right: ordering  of  the  church 
and  of  the  ordinances  of  God  ;  but  the  power  of  sin 
in  our  people  doth  frustrate  almost  all.  No  where  cat| 
almost  a  faithful  minister  set  up  the  unquestionable 
'discipline  of  Christ,  or  put  back  the  most  scandalous 
impenitent  sinners  from  the  communion  of  the  church 
and  participation  of  the  sacraments,  but  the  most  of 


the  people  rail  at  them  and  revile  them;  as  if  these 
ignorant  careless  souls  Were  wiser  than  their  teachers, 
or  than  God  himself.  And  thus  in  the  day  of  our 
visitation,  when  God  calls  upon  us  to  reform  his 
church,  though  magistrates  seem  willing,  and  faithful 
ministers  seem  willing,  yet  are  the  multitude  of  the 
people  still  unwilling,  and  have  so  blinded  them- 
selves, and  hardened  their  hearts,  that,  even  in  these 
days  of  light  and  grace,  they  are  the  dsstinate  enemies 
of  light  and  grace,  and  will  not  be  brought  by  the 
calls  of  God,  to  see  their  folly,  and  know  what  is 
for  their  good.  O  that  the  people  of  England  knew, 
at  least  in  this  their  day,  the  things  that  belong 
unto  their  peace,  before  they  are  hid  from  their  eyes  ! 
Luke  xix.  42. 

O  foolish,  miserable  souls!  Gal*  iii-  1-  vvho  hath 
bewitched  your  minds  into  such  madness,  and  your 
hearts  into  such  deadness,  that  you  should  be  sucb 
mortal  enemies  to  yourselves,  and  go  on  so  obstinately 
tovvards  damnation,  that  neither  the  word  of  God 
nor  the  persuasions  of  men  can  change  your  minds^ 
or  hold  your  hands,  or  stop  you,  till  you  are  past 
remedy  !  Well,  sinners,  this  life  will  not  last  always ; 
this  patience  will  not  wait  upon  you  still.  Do  not 
think  that  you  shall  abuse  your  Maker  and  Redeemer, 
and  serve  his  enemies,  and  debase  your  souls,  and 
trouble  the  world,  and  wrong  the  church,  and  reproach 
the  godly,  and  grieve  your  teachers,  and  hinder  refor- 
mation, and  all  this  upon  free  cost.  You  know  not 
yet  what  this  must  cost  you,  but  you  must  shortly 
know,  when  the  righteous  God  shall  take  you  in 
band,  who  will  handle  you  in  another  manner  than 
the  sharpest  magistrates,  or  the  plainest  dealing 
pastors  did,  unless  you  preyei^t  the  everlasting  tof'- 
ments  by  a  sound  conversion  and  a  speedy  obeying 

THE   PR£^FACE.  13 

of  the  call  of  Glod ;  He  that  hath  an  ear  to  hear,  let 
him  hear,  while  mercy  hath  a  v6ice  to  call. 

One  objection  I  find  most  common  in  the  mouths 
of  the  ungodly,  especially  of  late  years :  they  say, 
ifVe  can  <h  rwtMng  without  6od;  we  cannot  have 
grace,  if  God  will  not  give  it  us ;  and,  if  he  will,  we 
shall  quickly  turn:  if  he  have  not  predestinated  us, 
and  will  not  turn  us,  how  can  we  turn  ourselves,  or  be 
saved?  It  is  not  in  him  thai  wills,  nor  in  him  that 
runs.  And  thus  they  think  they  are  excused. 
'«  I  have  answei'ed  this  formally,  and  in  this  book  ; 
but  let  me  now  say  this  much. — 1.  Though  you 
cannot  cure  yourselves,'  you  can  hurt  and  poison 
yourselves.  It  is  God  that  must  sanctify  your  hearts; 
but  who  corrupted  them  ?  Will  you  wilfully  take 
poison,  because  you  cannot  cure  yourselves?  Me- 
thinks  you  should  the  more  forbear  it.  "  You  should 
the  more  take  heed  of  sinning*  if  you  cannot  niend 
what  sin  doth  mar.-^2.  Though  you  cannot  be  con- 
verted without  the  special  grace  of  God,  yet  you 
must  know  that  God  giveth  his  grace  in  the  use  of 
his  holy  means,  which  he  hath  appointed  to  that  end; 
and  common  grace  may  enable  you  to  forbear  your 
gross  sinning  (as  to  the  outward  act),  and  to  use  those 
means.  Can  you  truly  sdy,  that  you  do  as  much  as 
you  are  able  to  do  ?  Are  you  not  able  to  go  by  an 
alehouse  door,  or  to  forbear  the  company  that  hard- 
eneth.  you  in  sin  ?  Are  you  not  able  to  hear  the 
word;  and  think  of  what  yotj,  heard,  when  you  come 
home,  and  to  consider  with  yourselves  of  youirown 
condition,  and  of  everlasting  things  ?  Are  you  not 
able  to  read  good  books  from  day  to  day,  at  least  on 
ihe  LordVday,  and  to  converse  with  those  that 
fear  the  Lord  ?  You  cannot  say  that  you  have  done 
what  you  are  able. — 3.  And  therefore  you  must  know 

16  THE    PREFACE. 

that  you  can  forfeit  the  grace  and'belp  of  God  by 
your  wilful  sinning  or  negligence,  though  you  cannot, 
without  grace,  turn  to  God.  If  ypu  will  not  do  what 
you  can,  it  is  just  with  God  to  deny  you  that  grace 
by  which  you  might  do  more.— 4.  And,  for  God's 
decrees,  you  must  know  that  they  separate  not  the 
end  and  means,  but  tie  them  together.  God  never 
decreed  to  save  any  but  the  sanctifi^,  nor  to  damii 
any  but  the  unsanctified,  God  doth,  as  truly  decree 
whether  your  land  this  year  shall  be  barren  or  fruitful, 
and  just  how  long  you  shall,  live  in  the  world,  as 
he  hath  decreed  whether  you  shall  be  saved  or  not ; 
and  yet  you  would  think  that  man  but  a  fool  that 
would  forbear  ploughing  and  sowing,  and  say,  If 
God  have  decreed  that  my  grornid  shall  hear  corn,  it 
will  bear,  whether  I.plougk  and  sow  or  not.  If  God 
have  decreed  that  I  shall  live,  I  shall  live,  whether 
I  eat  or  not ;  but,  if'  he  have  not,  it  is  not  eating  that 
will  keep  me  alive.  Do  you  know  how  to  answer 
such  a  man,  or  do  you  not  ?  If  you  do,  then  you 
know  how  to  answer  yourselves ;  for  the  case  is  alike. 
God's  decree  is  as  peremptory  about  your  bodies  as 
your  souls.  If  you  do  not  then  try  first  these  con- 
clusions upon  your  bodies,  before  you  venture  to  try 
them  on  your  souls ;  see  first  whether  God  will  keep 
you  alive  without  food  or  raiment,  and  whether  he 
will  give  you  corn  without  tillage  and  labour,  and 
whether  he  will  bring  you  to  your  journey's  end 
without  your  travel  or  carriage;  and,  if  you  speed 
well  in  this,  then  try  whether  he  will  bring  you  to 
heaven,  without  your  diligent  use  of  means  ;  and  sit 
down  and  say,  we  cannot  sanctify  ourselves. 

Well,  Sirs,  I  have  but  three  requests  to  you,  and 
1  have  done.  ^ 

First,  That  you  will  seriously  read  over  this  small 

THE   PliEFACB.  17 

treatise;  (and,  if  you  have'  soch  as  need  it  in  your 
families,  that  you  would  read  it  over  and  over  to 
them ;  and  if  thbse  that  fear  God  would  go  nov?  and 
then  to'theiir  ignorant  neigliboursi' and  read  this  or 
some  other  book  to  them  on  this  subject,  they  might 
be  a  means  of  winning  of  soulsi)  If  we  cannot  entreat 
so  small  a  labour  of  men  for  theipown  salvation,  as 
to  read  such  short  instructions  as  thescj  they  set 
little  by  thenis^Ives,  and  will  most  jiustly  perish.::  ,  . 
•  Secondly, 'When  you  h?ive  fead  oVer  this  book, 
I  Would  entrea*:'you  to  go  alone,  and  ponder  a  little 
what  you  have  read,  and  bethink  .you,  as  in  the  sight 
of  God,  whether  it  be  not  true,  and  do  not  nearly 
tbueh  your  Souls,  and  whether  it  be  not  time  to  look 
about  you  :  and  also  6ilitreat:you,  that  you  will,  upon 
your  knees,  beseech  the  Lord  that  he  will  open  your 
eyes  to  understand  the' truths  and  turn  your  hearts' to 
thfe  love  of  God,  and  beg  of:him  all  that  saving  grace 
which  you  have  so  long  neglected,  and  follow  it  oa 
from  day  to  day, 'till  your  hearts  be  changed:  and 
witha),  that  you  tvill  go  to  your  pastors,  (that  are  set 
over  yOu  to  take  care  of  the  health  and  safety  of  youc 
souls,  as  physicians  do  for  the  health  of  your 'bodies,) 
and  clesire  them  to  direct  you  what  course  to  takcj  and 
acquaint  them  with  your  spiritual  estate,  that  you 
may  have  the  benefit  of  their  advice  and  ministerial 
help.  ,        '  !   I  '  ' 

Or,  if  you  have  not  a  faithful  pastor  at  home,:makie 
•use  of  some  other  in  so  great  a  need.  ' 

2'hirdlii/,Vfh^a,  by  reading,  consideration,  prayer, 
and  ministerial  advice,  you  are  once  acquainted  with 
•your  sin  aijd  misery,  with  your  duty  and  remedy, 
delay  not,  but  presently  forsake  your  sinful  company 
and  courses,  and  turn  to  God,  and  obey  his  call. 
■As  you  love  your  50uls,  take  heed  that  ye  go  not- oh 


IS  Tim.  ffmw  Aefi* 

agannstisd  Ihodia  -calif^sGodt  :aoi^  .^^Mt^fo%i:,<>yiff 

jMni  in:  the  day  I  >of  judgment  thaa  >;i!tth  $f;i4o£Q.;ajiiid 
Giomorrdh.    Inq:uice  oi!0Qd,.as  a  laaan  t|)a^t,is(j>frijli.^ 
toiljnow'tlieJtraith^jairid  nskt  bea  wjylfjal.cheater  ©fhis 
tioul.  Se^^ck the  holy  ^crffitures  d^ily,  ^nd^ee  Wibe.ther 
febege  things  besooraoij  tryirapatlJaUy.  whether  it 
be  safer  to^trtist  ^aven  or  ^eadrth^  i^nd  whether  if  b? 
better  ta  jfijdiow-X&rod  lor  linan,'  :the  Spijfit  or  jtbe;  fle^, 
*«er  to  live  in  holktess  jor  sin,  ,a>id  whether  an 
uhsanctified  estate  be  safefoiryioutoayde  ip^iPtie  d^y 
longer:  and  when  you  Jtave  rfound  out  wbachis  bept, 
cesolve  iaicconjihgly^^and  make,  your  choice  .wij^onj: 
any  more  ado.   If  yoii  wilit^je^/true  to  your  oivn  souls^, 
and  dO'  not  'love  eserlastiog  to^rnents*  J  beseech  you, 
asfFonxthe  Lovd^  that  you  wiU  but  take  thif  reason- 
able advice.  Owbait  happy  towRSi^and  countries,  and 
w:bat  aibappy  nation  .might  we  hav^e,  if  we  .^ouid  but 
persuade  our  neigjibour^  to  agree  to  such  a  neci9s$Sry 
inotion]  What  joyful  men  would  .all.  t^ifthjF^  I  ministers 
be,  if  itbey  could  but  see  their  people  truly  heavenly 
aind  holy:  this  would  be  the  unity,  JiJ^e.  peace,  the 
safeity,  ithe  glory  of  our  cburohes^  the  happiness  of 
our  neighbours,  and  the  comfort  of  our  souls»    Then 
how  jcomfortably  should  we  preach  pardpR  andpe^ce 
to  you,  :and  deliver  the  sacraments,  Wihic!>  ajje  the 
seals  of  peace  to  you  !    And  witb  what  love  and  joy 
mightTv*  live  among  you  !    At  your  dejatihbed,  how 
boldly  might  weieomfort  and  encourage  your  desp<gu'tr 
ing  souls!    Aiid,  at  your  burial,  how  comfoitftbly 
might  we  leave  you  in  the  gi;a,ye,  in  expectation  to 
meet  your  souls  in  heaven,  and  to  see  your  bodies 
raised  to  that  glory  ! 

But,  if  still  the  most  of  you  will  go  on  in  a  careless, 
ignorant,  fleshly^  worldly,  or  unholy  life,  and  s^U  our 


^esiresrand  kiboars  'can^x&t  so  iaif  prevail  as  toJ^e^ 
you  from  Vh&  wilful  dsnmih'g  oifiyooraelviei,  -we' most 
th«ri  imitate^  oi>i»  Lotid,  whk)  4«%tttetft  ihimBeif  jii 
tbos«  f(g(^  that  are  jeweK  an#'to  lik^ilkde  flcHck  that 
sfcall!  V^qi^vi^tlhe  tdfi^doiflj  whc^n  the  triost  sba4l  reap 
the'4i»feeiy  <*iii6lf  they  sowed.  In  taawre,' ^loie^ewt 
thiri^isnarii  few.  ';\The  world  hath  not  tnanyrsuns  jos 
lanlddns'^r  it  is  but  a  little  of  the  «artfai  that  in  g<i\d 
w^ilv^r.  Princes  and  nobles  are  faut  a  sttaall  pari  of 
ttife  sons  of  men;'  and  it  is  no  great  nathber  that  ^4 
learbedj jadicitowsyor  wise,  h^re in  thre  wbrtd.  v A»d*, 
therefore,  if' thJ^ 'gafte  baln^  strait  and 'Very  ftatfoi*; 
tfifere  bfe  but  feW  that  find  salvation,  yfet  6dd  wiH 
h^ve  Mfe  |16%  And^leasufe  }n  those  few.  Aridi  whet) 
Christ  shall  cothe  Witfe  fife  thigbty  aagels,  iii  flamiiig 
6Vfe  faking  Vengeata^e  <bn  thdtn  that  kh6#  not  G6^, 
^tid  bbey  n6«'th^  gbsp^'^ffoupLordJ^asf  Christ,  BS 
f  «:ttri8ihg^w'iH'b«'|i«tiae<H&''b!^  saints;  a*id  admitetf  in 

m\  ii'm'bmd^iry, o,  The^s-.  ii  i,^,  9, 10; "'' '  '^ ' -^''^ 

"^^i^na^-fdi*  th^'ii^stj  as  God  the  Fattiter  VotKihsafeid 
td  <ii-eat^  tli^tri,  afld  GM  efe"*  Scftf  ^^dWferf  riot  t6 
bear  the  penalty  of  their  sins  upon  th(6  Cl*6ssv  aWd' did 
not  judge  such  suff(^rins;s  in  vain,  though  he  knew 
that  by  refusirig'the  sanciincatio^i  of  the  Holy  Ghoist, 
they  would  ftn»Wy^deJfroy  themselves,  so  we,  that  are 
his  ministers,  though  these  be  not  gathered,  judge 
jiot  our  labour  wholly  lost.    See  Isa.  jtlix.- 5, 

'Re(id^r,  I  have  4one  with  thee,  (when  thou  hast 
perused  this  book,)  but  sin  hath  not  yet  done  with 
thee,  (even  those  that  thou  thougbtest  had  been 
forgotten  long  ago,)  and  Satap  hath  not  yet  done  with 
thee,  (though  now  he  be  out  of  sight,)  and  God 
hath  not  yet  done  with  thee,  because  thou  wilt  not 
be  persuaded  to  have  done  with  the  deadly  reigning 
sin.    I  have  written  thee  this  Persu^sivie,  as  one  that 

20  THE    PREFACE. 


is  going  into  another  <world,  where  .(the  fthings  are 
seen;  that  I  here  speak,  of,  audi  as  otie  that  knoweth 
fchou  must  be  shortly  there  thyselfc,  As  ever  thou 
wilt  meet  me  with  comfort  before  the  Lord  that  made 
us  ;  ds.ever  thou;wil;t  escape  the  everlasting,  plagues 
pnepared  for  the  final  neglecters  of  salvation;  and  for 
all  thatareaatsvmcij^edby  the' Holy  Ghost,  and  love 
tiitt  the  communion  of  the  saints,  as  members  of: the 
holy  catholic  church ;  and  as  ever  thou  hopest  to  see 
the  face  of  Christ 'the  judge,  and  of  the  majesty  of  the 
Father,,  with  peace  and  comfort,  and  to  be  received 
into  gipry  when  thpu,  art  turned  naked  out  of  this 
world ;  I  beseech  th^e,-  I  charge  thee,  to  hear  and 
obei/ ith^,  Call  of  , God,  and  resolvedly  Jo  turn,  that 
thou  mayest  live.  But , if, thou  ;i^ife  ko^,  even  when 
thou  hast  no  true  reason  for  it,,  but  be,c§use,th()u  wilt 
ao^,  1  summon  theeUo  answer  it  before  thq'tprd, 
and  require  thee  there  to  bear  me  witnessj^  that  I  gave 
thee  warning,  and  that  thou  was  not.opndemned  for 
want  of,  a  call  to  turfi  and  live,  but;  because  thou 
yvouldst  i^ot  believe  it  and  obey  it ;  which  ajso  must 
be  the  testimony;  of 

Thy  Serious  Monitor,  " 

■Richard  Baxter. 
/)ec.'  11,  1657. 


In  that  short,  acquaiBtahce>  I  had  with,  that 
reverend,  learjTied. servant  of  Christ,  Bishop  Usher, 
he^ha^  often,  >frprn, first  to  last,,  been  importuning  me 
to  write  a  Directory  for  the  several  rgnks  of  professed 
Christians,  which  might  distintiy  give  each  one  their 
portion;  beginning  with, the  unconverted,  and  then 
proceeding  to  the  babps  in  Christ,  and  then  to  the 
Strong,  and, mixing  some  special  helps,  against  the 
several  sins  that  they  are  addicted  to.  By  the  sudden- 
ness of  his  motion  at  our  first  congress,  I, perceived 
it  was  on  his  mind,  before:,  and,  1  told  liim,  both  that 
it  was  abundantly  done  by  m^ny  already,  and  that  his 
nnacqu^in,te4pesiSr  with  my  weakness,  might  make 
him  think  me  fitter  for  ^t  than  I  was.  But  this  did 
not  satisfy,  hitn,. hut  s,tiil  he  made  it  his  request. 
I  confess  I  was, not  moved  by  h's  reasons,  nor  did 
I  apprehend  any  .great  need  of  doing  more  th^n  is 
done  JH;. that  way  ;  nor  that. I  was  Ijkely  to  do  pore: 
and  .thjerefofe  I  .parted  frorn  him  without  the  Ijeast 
.purpose  to.  answer  his  deair^.  But  since,  his  d^ath, 
j^is  words!  often  came  into  my  njind ;  arid  thp. great 
reverence  I  bore  him,  did  the  more  incline  me  to 
•think  with  sqnje  complacency  of  his  motion.  ^  And, 
having  of  late  intended  to  write  a  Family  Directory, 
I  began  to  apprehend  how  congruously  the  fbre- 
inentioned  work  should  lead  the  way ;  and  the  several 
coTiditions  of  men's  soiils  be  spoken  of,  before  we 
come  to  the  .several  relations.  Hereupon.  I  resolved, 
by  G^d's^assistance,  tp  proceed  in  order  following: 

First,  To  speak  to  the,  Impenitent  Unconverted 
sinners,  -who  are. not  yet  so  much,  as  purposing  to 
jturn,  or  at  iJeast  are  not  setting  about  the  work. 
And  with  these  I  thought  a  wakening  persuasive 
was  a  more  necessary  means  than  mere  directions. 
For  directions  suppose  men  willing  to  obey  them; 
but  the  persons  ^©hkve  first  tp  deal  with,  are  wilful 
;and  fast  asleep  in  sin,  and  as  men  that  are  past 


feeling,  havitig  given  therlisdv^s  ovfef  t6  sin  with 
greediness,  Eph.  i«  19,  My  next  work  must  be  for 
those  that  have  some  purposes  to  turn,  and  are  about 
the  Work'  to  direct  fbt  a  thofougb  feirld  tr'tie  conver- 
sion,' that  they  rtiisdarry  not  in  the  bifth.  'I'H6  third 
part  raiist  be.  Directions  for  tb6  younger  and  Weaker 
sort  of  Christians,  thsft  tfiey  may  be  established,  built 
up,  arid  persevere.  The  fourth  part.  Directions  for 
lapsed  and  backsliding  ChristisiiSs,  for  their  safe 
recovery.  Besides  these,  there  is  initended  sotiie 
Persuasions  and  Directions  against  some  special 
errofs  of  the  times,  and  against  sbitie  Common  killing 
sins  ;  as  for  directions  to  doubting,  troubled  consci- 
ences, that  'is  done  already.  And  the  strong  I  shall 
not  write  directions  fdr,'  because  they  are  so  miich 
taught  in  God  already.  And  then  the  last  part  is 
intended  thoie  especially  for  Fain^ilies;  as  such,  (fii'ect- 
ing  the  seVferal  relations  in  thfeir  duty  ;  sortie  df  th^Sfe 
are  ahead^  Written:  whethef'  I  sHalt  Have  life  and 
leisurd  fof  the  rest,  God  only  knowfeth.  '  And  there- 
fore I  ^hall  publish  the  several  jjartis  by  th^ihsel^^^, 
as  I  Write  them:  and  the  rather,  becaiiSe  they  ate 
intended  for  taeti  of  different  States;  arid  bejijaia^fe 
I  wOifldnot  deter  them,  by  the  bulk  or  price,  frdtfj 
ffeadhrig  What  is  Writteri  for  their  benefit. 

'  The  use  thatr  this  pirt  is  published  for  iS,-^l.  'F<^ 
M&Stiers  and  Pialrents  to  relad  oft^n  frt  their  Families, 
if  they  have*  servants  or  children  that  are  yet  uhconl- 
verted,-ri-2.  For  allstich  unCoriveftM-  persons  to  read 
and  consider  of  themselves,^3.  For  the  fiChei^  sbff, 
that  have  any  pity  for  such  ihiSeffable  sou'lis,'  t6  g'ive 
to  the  unsanctififed  that  need  theiiiv  (if  they  haivenot 
fitter  at  hahd  to  use  iir  give,)  *^*'  -•'     . 

,  TK6  Lord  athdfcenus  to  w6rk,  'ivhik  H  is  day,  fof" 
the  saving  6f(yu¥  qwH  and  oth^r^s  Muls,  In  subservieiity 
to  the  hUssed  God,  th&MaJcei^,iM  Rideemei',  and  the 
Sanctifief  of  SbuU'.' ,  '    -  ■     ■  ' 

RICHARD  Baxter! 



,   IiZEK.  xxxiii.  11. 

Say  uhtd  them,  Jls  I  live,  saith  the  Lord  God,  I  have 
no  pleasure  in  the  death  of  the  wicked;  hut  that  the 
wicked  turn  Jrom  his  way  and  live :  Turn  ye,  turn 
ye  from  your  evil  ways;  for  why  will  ye  die,  O  house 
of  Israel? 

Ixjias  been.the  Mfoniper  of  many,  to  read  in  the  hbly 
scripture  how  few  will  be  saved;  and  that  the  greatest 
part  even  of  those  that  are  called,  wijl  be  shut  out  of 
heaven,  and  tormented  with  the  devils  in  eternal  jfire. 
Infidels  believe  not  this,  and  therefore  must  feel  it. , 
Those  that  do  believe  it,  are  forced  tp  cry  out  with 
St,  Paul,  O  the  depth  of  the  riches  both  qfthe  wisdom 
and  krwtvdedg^  of  God!  How  unsearfh^le  are  his 
judgments]  and  his  ways  past  finding  out!*  But 
nature  itself  teaches  us  all  to  lay  the  blame  of  evil 
works  upon  the  doers ;  and,  therefore,  when  we  see 
any  heinous  thing  committed,  a  principle  of  justice 
provokes  us  to  inquire  after  him  that  did  it.  If  we 
saw  a  .man  killed  and  cut  in  pieces  by  the  way,  we 
would  presently  ask.  Oh,  who  did  this  cruel  deed  ? 
If  a  tawiQ  were  set  on  fire,  you  would  ask.  What 
wicked  wretch  did  this?    So  when  we  read  tha^t  the 

*  Rom.  xi.  33. 

24  A    CALL    TO    THE    UKCONVERTED. 

most  will  be  firebrands  of'  hell  for  ever,  we  must 
needs  think  with  ourselves,  How  comes  this  to  pass? 
Who  is  it  that  is  so  cruel  as  to  be  the  cause  of  such 
a  thing  as  this  ?  And  we  can  meet  with  few  that  will 
own  the  guilt.  It  is,  indeed,  confessed  by  all,  that 
Satan  is  the  cause :  but  that  resolves,  not  the  doubt, 
because  he  is  not  the  principal  cause.  He  does  not 
force  men  to  sin,  but  tempts  them  to  it;  and  leaves 
it  to  their  own  wills,  whether  they  will  do  it  or  not. 
It  lies,  therefore,  between  God  himself  and  the  sinner: 
one  of  them  must  be  the  principal  cause  of  all  this 
misery,  for  there  is  no  other  to  cast  it  upon :  and 
God  disclaims  it;  he  will,  not  take  it  upon  him: 
and  the  wicked  disclaim  it  usually;  and  they  will 
not  take  it  upon  them :  and  this  is  the  controversy 
which  is  here  carried  on  in  my  text. 

The  Lord  complains  of  the  people ;  and  the  people 
think  it  is  the  fault  of  God.  They  say,  ver.  10.  If  our 
transgressions  and  our  sins  he  upon  lis,  and  we  pine 
away  in  them,  how  shall  we  then  live?  As  if  they 
should  say.  If  we  must  die,  how  can  we  help  it  ?  As 
if  it  were  not  their  fault,  but- God's.  But  God,  in 
my  text,  clears  himself  of  it^  and  tells  them  howthfey 
may  help  it,  if  they  will,  and  persuades  them  to  use 
the  means ;  and  if  they  will  not  be  persuaded,  he  lets 
them  know  that  it  is  their  own  fault;  and  if  this  will 
not  satisfy  them,  he  will  not,  therefore,  forbear  to 
punish  them.  It  is  he  that  will  be  the  judge;  and 
he  will  judge  them  according  to  their  ways-:  they 
are  no  judges  of  him,  or  of  themselves,  as  wanting 
authority,  and  wisdom,  and  impartiality:  nor  is  it 
the  cavilling  with  God,  that  shall  serve  their  turn,  or 
save  them  from  the  execution  of  justice.  ,   .i  .' 

The  words  of  this  verse  contain,—!.  God's  clearing 
of  himself  from  the  blame  of  their  destruction.     This 

A   CALL   TO    the' UNCONVERTED.  26 

he  does  not  by  disowning  his  law,  that  the  wicked 
shall  die,  nor  by  disowning  his  execution  according 
to  that  law,  or  giving  them  any  hope  that  the  law 
shall  hot  be  executed;  but  by  professing  that  it  is 
not  their  death  that  he  takes  pleasure  in,  but  their 
returning^  rather  that  they  may  live:  and  this  he 
confirms  to  them  by  his  oath.  2.  An  express  exhor- 
tation to  the  wicked  to  return;  wherein  God  does 
not  only '  command,  but  persuade,,  and  condescend 
also  to  reason  the  case  with  them.  Why  will  they 
die  ?-  The  direct  end  of  this  exhortation  is,  that  they 
may  turn  and  live.  The  secondary,  or  reserved  ends, 
upon  supposition  th^t  this  is  not  attained,  are  these 
two :  First,  To  convince  them,  that  it  is  not  owing  to 
God,  if  they  be  miserable.  Secondly,  To  convince 
them,  from  their  manifest  wilfulness  in  rejecting  all 
his  commands  and  persuasions,  that  it  is  their  own 
fault ;  and  they  die,  even  because  they  will  die. 

The  substance  of  the  text  doth  lie  in  these  obser- 
vations following :      il 

Doct.  1.  It  is  the  unchangeable  Law  of  God,  that 
■  wicked  men  must  turn,  or  die. 

Doct.*  3.  It  is  the  promise  of  God,  that  the  wicked 
shall  live,  if  they  will  hit  turn. 

Doct.  3.  God  takes  pleasure  in  men's  conversion  and 
salmtion,  but  not  in  their  death  or  damnation ;  he 
had  rather  they  would  turn  and  live,  than  go  on 
and  die. 

Doct.  4.  This  is  a  most  certain  truth,  which,  because 
God  would  not  have  men  to  question,  he  has  conr- 
confirmed  it  to  them  solemnly  by  his  oath, 

Doct.  5.  The  Lord  redoubles  his  commands  and  per- 
suasions to  the  wicked  to  turn. 

2C  A.   CALI,   TO    THP    UMrCONVERTED. 

Doct.  6.  7%e  Z,oih^  eondescenda  to  reason  the '  case 
toith  themj  and  ask f  the  wicked  mhy  they,  will  die? 

Doct.  7.  Jf,qftfr  all'this  thewibked  will  not  turn,  U 
is  not  owing  to  God  that  the^periah,  hut  of  them- 
selves;,  their  own  wiyhdnes&.is  the  cause  of  their 
dammation;  th^- therefore  Se^  because  thejf  will  die. 

Having  laid  the  text  opera  before  your  eyes  in  these 
plain  propositions,.!  shall  next  speak  someT»hat  of 
each  of  them  iii  oceteCj  though  very  krieiiyV 


It  is  the  unohan^cthle  Law:  of  Godj  that  wicked  men 
must  turn,  or  die. 

If  you  will  believe  God,  believe  this :  There  is  but 
one  of  these  two  ways  for  every  wicked  ma.n,  either 
conversion  or  damnatidn.  i  know  tbe  wicked  wilt 
hardly  be  persuaded  either  of  the  truth  or  equity  of 
this  :  no  wonder  if  the  guilty  quarrel  with  the  law. 
Few  men  are  apt  to  believe  that  which  they  would 
not  have  to  be  true ;  and  fewer  would  have  that  to 
be  true  whieli  tb©y  apprehend  to  be  against  them. 
But  it  is  not  quarrelling  with  the  law,  or  with  the 
judge,  that  will  save  the  loaleiactor ;  b^leving  and 
regarding  .tbe  law  might  have  prevented  his  death, 
but  denying  and  accusing,  it,  will  but  hasten  it.  If  it 
were  not  so,  a  hundred  vi^ould  bring  their  reasons 
against  the  law  for  one  that  would  bring  his  reason  to 
tbe  law ;  and  men  would  rather  choose  to  give  their 
reasons  why  they  should  not  be  punisbed,  than  to 
hear  the  commands  and  reasons  of  their  governors, 
which  require  them  to  obey.    The  law  was  not  made 

A    CA'tL   TO   THE   CKCONVERT^D.  27 

for  you  to  judge,  but  that  you^might  be  ruled  and 
judged  by  it.  > 

But  if  there  be  any  so  blind  as  to  question  eithfer 
the  truth  or  the  justice  of  the  law  of  God,  I  shali 
briefly  give  you  that  evidence  of  both ;  whicb, 
methinks,  should  satisfy  a  reasonable  inan. 

And  first,  if  you  doubt  whether  this  be  the  word 
of  God,  or  not,  besides  a  hundred  other  texts,  you 
ni%  bfe  satisfied  with  these  few  -.—^Verily  I  say  zmtQ 
you^  except  ye  be  converted,  and  become  as  little  chil- 
drm,  ye  shall  not  enter  into  the  kingdom  qf  God* 
Perily,  verily,  I  say  unto  you,  except  a  man  be  bom 
again,  he  cannot  see  the  kingdom  of  God.-\  If  a  man 
be  in  Christ,  he  is  a  new  creatuf-e.  Old  things  are 
passed  away ;  behold,  all  things  dre  become  new.^  Ye 
have  put  off' the  old  man  with  his  deeds,  and  have  put 
on  the  new  man,  which  is  rehewed  in  knowledge  after 
the  irndgi'ofhim  that  treated  Awn.§  FFithout  holiness, 
none  shall  see  Grorf.j]  So  then,  they  that  are  in  the 
flesh  cantiot  pleuse  Gocl.  Now,  if  any  man  have  not 
the  Spirit  qf  Christ,  he  is  none  of  his.^  For  in 
Christ  Jesus,  neither  circwAiCisum,  availeth  any  thing, 
nor  uncircumcision,  but  a  new  creature.**  According 
to  his  abundant  grace,  he  hath  begotten  us  to  a  lively^ 
hope.'f'f  Being  born  again,  not  qf  eor'ruptible  seed, 
but  qf  incorruptible,  by  the  word  qf  God,  which  liveth 
and  abidethjbr  ever.  J  +  Wherefore,  laying  aside  all 
malice,  and  all  guile,  and  hypocrisies,  and  envies,  and 
evil-speaking;  as  new-horn  babes  desire  the  sincere 
milk  of  the  Word,  'that  ye  rnay  grorw  thereby.  §  §  The 
•toieked  shall  be  turned  into  hell,  and  all  the  nations 

*  Matth.  xviii.  3.  t  J?!""  '*'•  ^'  t  2  Cor.  v.  17.  §  Col.  iii. 
9,  10.  II  Heb,  xii.  14.  IT  'Roxa,  viii.  8,  Q.  **  Gal.  vi.  15. 
tt  1  Pet.  i.  8.      Xt  1  P«t"  i-  23.     '§§  1  Pet.  ii.  1,  2. 

28  A    CALL    TO    THE    tJNGONVERTED. 

thM  forget  God.*    And  tht  Lord  loseth  the  righteous : 
but  the  mcked  his  soul  hateth.'f 

As  I  need  not  stay  toopen  these  texts  which  are 
so  plain,  so,  I  think,  I  need  not  add  any  more  of  that 
multitude  which  speak  the  likte.  If  thou  be  a  man 
that  believest  the  word  of  God,  here  is  already  enough 
to  satisfy  thee,  that  the  wicked  must  be  converted  or 
condemned.  You  are  already  brought  so  far,  that 
you  must  either  confess  that  this  is  true,  or  say 
plainly,' you  will  not  believe  thei  word  of  God.  And 
if  once  you  come  to  that  pass,  there  is  but  small 
hopes  of  you  ;  look  to  yourselves  as  well  as  you  can, 
for  it  is  likely  you  will  not  be  long  out  of  hell.  You 
Would  be  ready  to  fly  in  the  face  of  him  that  should 
give  you  the  lie;  and  yet  dare  you  give  the  lie  to 
God  ?  But  if  you  tell  Gad  plainly  you  will  not  believe 
him,  blame  him  not,  if  he  never  warn  you  more;  or 
if  he  forsake  you,  and  give  you  up  as  hopeless :  for 
to  what  purpose  should  he  warn  you,  if  you  will  not 
believe  him  ?  Should  he  send  an  angel  from  heaven 
to  you,  it  seems  you  would  not  believe.  For  an 
angel  can  speak  but  the  word  of  God;  and  if  an  angel 
should  bring  you  any  other  gospel,  you  are  not  to 
receive  it,  but  to  hold  him  accursed. J  And  surely 
there  is  no  atigel  to  be- believed  before  the  Sou  of 
God,  :^  who  came  from  the  Father  to  bring  us  this 
doctrine.  If  he  be  not  to  be  believed,  then  all  the 
augels  in  heaven  are  not  to  be  believed.  And  if  you 
stand  on  these  terms  with  God,  I  shall  leave  you  until 
he  deal  with  you  in  a  more  convincing  way.  God 
hath  a  voice  that  will  make  you  hear.  Though  he 
entreat  you  to  hear  the  voice  of  his  gospel,  he  will 
make  you  hear  the  voice  of  his  condemning  sentence, 
without  entreaty.  We  cannot  make  you  believe  against 
*  Psajpi  ix,  17,  t  Ps^lm  xi.  7,  J  Gjil,  j.  8, 


yoiir  wills ;  but  God  will  maike  you  feel  against  your 

But  let  us  hear  what  reason  you  have;  why  will 
you  not  believe  this  word  of  God,  which  tells  us 
that  the  wicked  must  be  converted  or  condemned?. 
J  know  your  reason ;  it  i^  because  that  you  judge  it 
unlikely  that  God  should  be  so  unmerciful :  you 
think  it  cruelty' to  damn  men  everlastingly  for  so 
small  a  thing  as  a  sinful  life.  And  this  leads  us  up 
to  the  second  thing,  which  is.  to  justify  the  equity  <^ 
God  in  his  laws  and  judgments. 

'And  first,  I  think  you  will  not  deny  that  it  is  (post 
suitable  to  an  immortal  soul  to  be  ruled  by  laws  that 
promise  an  immortal  reward,  and  threaten  an  endless 
punishment.  Otherwise,  the  law  would  not  be  suited 
to  the  natuVe  of  the  subject,  who  will  not  be  fully 
ruled  by  any  lower  means  than  the  hopes  or  fears  of 
everlasting  things :  as  it  is  in  case  of  temporal  punish- 
ment, if  a  law  were  now  made  that  the  most  heinous 
crimes  should  be  punished  with  an  hundred  .years' 
captivity,  this  might  be  of  some  efficacy,  as  being 
equal  to  pur  lives.  But,  if  there  had  been  no  other 
penalties  before  the  flood,  when  men  lived  eight  or 
nine  hundred  years,  it  would  not  have  been  sufficient, 
because  men  would  know  that  they, might  have  so 
mapy  hundred  years' impunity  afterwards.  So  it  is 
in  our  present  case. 

3.  I  suppose  that  you  will  confess  that  the  promise 
of  an  endless  and  inconceivable  glory  is  not  so  suitable 
to  the  wisdom  of  God,  or  the  case  of  man :  and  why 
then  should  you  not  think  so  of  the  threatening  of  an 
endless  and  unspeakable  misery  ? 

3.  When  you  find  it  in  the  word  of  Gk)d,  that 
"  so  it  is,"  and  "  so  it  will  be,"  do  you  think  your- 
selves fit  to  contradict  this  word  ?  Will  you  call  your 

so  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

Maker  to  the  biar,  and  examine  his  word  ?  Will  you 
sit  upon  him,  arid  judge  him  by  the  law  of  your 
conceits  ?  Are  you  wiser,  and  better,  and  more 
righteous  than  he?  Must  the  God  of  heaven  coUie 
to  school  to  you  to  learn  wisdom?  Must  Infinite 
Wisdom  learn  of  Folly,  and  Infinite  Goodness  be 
corrected  iby  a  swinish  sinner,,  that  cannot  keep  him- 
self an  hour  clean  ?  Must  the  Almighty  stand  at  the 
bar  of  a  worm  ?  O  horrid  arrogancy  of  senseless  dust ! 
shall  every  mole,  orclodj  or  dunghill,  accuse  the  sun 
of  darkness,  and  undertake  to  illuminate  the  world  ? 
Where  were  you  when  the  Almighty  made  the  laws, 
that  he  did  not  call  you  to  his  counsel  ?  Surely,  he 
made  them  before  you  were  boruj  without  desiring 
your  advice  ;  and  you  came  into  the  world  too  late  to 
reverse  them :  if  you  could  have  done  so  great  a  work, 
you  should  have  stept  out  pf  your  nothingness,  and 
have  contradicted  Christ  when  he  was  on  earth,  or 
Moses  before  him,  or  have  saved  Adam  and  his  sinful 
progetiy  from  the.  threatened  death,  that  so  there 
might  have  been  no  need  of  Christ !  And  what  if 
God  withdraw  bis  patience  and  sustentation,  and  let 
y6u  drop  into  hell  while  you  are  quarrelling  with  his 
word,  will  you  then,  believe  that  there  is  a  hell  ? 

4.  If  sin  be  such  an  evil  that  it  requires  the  death 
of  Christ  for  its  expiation,  no  wonder  if  it  deserve 
our  everlasting  misery.  And  if  the  sin  of  the  devils 
deserved  an  epdless  torment,  why  not  also  the  sin  of 
man  ? 

5.  And  methink^  you  should  perceive  that  it  is 
not  po3sible  for  the  best  of  men,  much  less  for  the 
wicked,  to  be  competent  Judges  of  the  desert  of  sin^ 
Alas,  we  are  all  both  blind  and  partial !  You  can 
never  know  fully  the  desert  of  sin,  till  you  fully  knovfr. 
the  evil  of  sin  ;  ahd  you  c^n  never  fully  know  the 


evil  of  sin,  till  you  fully  know, — 1.  The  excellency 
of  the  soul  which  it  deforitiieth.    2.  Apd  the  excel- 
lency of  holiness  which  it  doth  obliterate.     3.  Ahd 
the  reason  and  excellency  of  the  law  which  it  violateth^ 
4.  The  excellency  of  the  glcvy  which  it  doth  despise. 
And,  5.  The  exoeHency  arid  office  of  reason  which  it 
treadeth  down.    6.  No,  nor  till  you  know  the  infinite 
excellency,  almightiness«  aivd  hoiihe^s  Of  that  God 
against  whom   it  is   comtnitted.  -  When  you  fully 
know  all  these,  you  shall  fully  know  the  desert  of 
sin.     You  know  that  the  joffelider  is  too  partial  ,ta 
judge  the  laWj  or  the  proceeding  of  his  judge.     We 
jitdgeby  feeling,  which  blitids  our  reason.     We  see 
in  common  worldly  things,  that  most  men  think  the 
cause  is  right  which,  is  tli^ir  own,  afid  that  all  is 
wrong  that  is  done  against  th^tn ;  and  let  the  ttiost 
wise  or  impartial  friends  persuade  therii  to*  the  con^ 
trary,  and  it  is  all  in  vain. 

6*  Gatt  you  think  that  an  unholy  soul  is-  fit  for 
beftven  ?  Alas,  they  cannot  love  God  here,  ttot  do 
him  any  service  which  he  can  accept!  They  are 
contrary  to  God;  they  loathe  that  which  he  most 
loves,  and  love  that  which  he  abhors  :  they  are  inca- 
pable of  that  imperfect  communion  with  him,  which 
his  saints  here  do  partake  Of.  How  then  can  they 
live  in  that  perfect  love  of  him,  and  full  delight  and 
communion  with  hitti,  which  is  the  blessedtiess  of 
heaven  ?  You  do  not  acduse  yourselves  of  uftmerei- 
fulness,  if  you  make  not  your  enemy  your  bosom' 
counsellor ;  or  if  you  take  not  yoUr  sWine  to  bed  and 
board  with  you :  no,  iior  if  jirou  take  away  his  life 
though  he  never  sinned;  and  yet  will  you  blame  the 
absdlQte  Lord,  the  mc»st  wise  and  gracious  Sovereign 
of  the  world,  if  he  condemn  the  unconverted  to 
perpetual  misery? 



I  BESEECH  you  now,  all  that  love  your  souls;  that 
instead  of  quarrelling  with  God  and  with  his -word, 
you  will  presently  stoop  to  it,  and  use  it  for  your 
good.  All  you  that  are  yet  unconverted,  take  this  as 
the  undoubted  truth  of  God ;  you  mustj  ere  long,  be 
converted  or  condemned:  there  is  no  other  way  but 
to  turn  or  die.  When  iurod,  who  cannot  lie,  has  told 
you  this;  when  you  hear  it  from  the  Maker  and 
Judge  of  the  world,  it  is  time  for  him  that  has  ears, 
to  hear :  by  this  time  you  may  see  what  you  have  to 
trust  to.  You  are  but  dead  and  damned  men,  except 
you  will  be  converted.  Should  I  tell  you  otherwise, 
I  should  deceive  you  with  ?i  lie.  Should  I  hide  this 
from  you,  I  should  undo  you,  and  be  guilty  of  your 
blood,  as  the  verses  before  my  text  assure  me.  PFhen 
I  say  unto  the  wicked,  O  wicked  man,  thou  shalt  surely, 
die;  if  thou  dost  not  speak  to  warn  the  wicked Jrom 
his  way,  that  wicked  man  shall  die  in  his  iniquity}  but 
hi?  blood  will  I  require  at  thine  hand.*  You  see  thenj 
though  this  be  a  rough  and^unwelcome  doctrine,  it 
is  such  as  we  must  preach,  and  you  must  hear.  It  is 
easier  to  hear  of  hell  than  to  feel  it.  If  your  neces- 
sities did  not  require  it,  we  would  not  gall  your 
tender  ears  with  truths  that  seem  so.  harsh  and 
grievous.  Hell  would  not  be  so  full,  if' people  were 
but  willing  to  know  their  case,  and  to  hear  and  think 
of  it.  The  reason  why  so  few  escape  it  is,  because 
they  strive  not  to  enter  in  at  the  strait  Gate  of  Con* 
version,  and  go  the  narrow  way  of  holiness  while 
they  have  time :  and  they  strive  not,  because  they  are 
not  awakened  to  a  lively  feeling  of  the  danger  that 
they  are  in  ;  and  they  are  not  awakened  because  they 

*  Ezek.  xxxiii.  8. 

A    CAtL    to    THE    tfNCONVERTED.  33 

are  loath  to  hear  or  think  of  it;  and  that'  is  partly 
through  ibolish  tenderness  and  carna!  selJM'bv^,  and 
partly' because  they  do  notwell  believe  the  word  that 
threatens  it.  If  you  will  n6t  thbroughly  believe  this 
truth;-  methinks  the  weight  of  it  should- force  you  to 
remember  it ;  and  it  shduld  follow  you,  and  give  yoii' 
no  rest  till  you  are  converted.  If  you  had- but  once' 
heard  this  word,  by  the  voice  of  an  angel,  Th&u  must 
be  converted  or  condemned;  turn,  or  die, — would  it 
not  fasten  on  your  minds,  and  haunt  you  night  and 
day  ?  so  that  in  ydur  sinning  yoa-would  remember  it, 
as  if  the  voice  were  still  in  your  ears,'  Turn,  or  die! 
O  happy  were  your  souls,  if  it  might  thus  work  with 
you,  and  never  be  forgotten,  or  let  you  alone  till 
it  have  driven  home  your  hearts  to  God. — But  if  yoqi 
will  cast  it  out  by  forgetfulness  or  unbelief,  how  can 
it  work  to  your  conversion  and  salvation  ?  But  take 
this  with  you,  to  your  sorrow/ — though  you  may  put 
it  out  of  your  minds,  you  cannot  put  it  out  of  the 
Bible;  but  there  it  will  stand' as  a  sealed  truth,  which 
you  shall  experimentally  know  for  ever,  that  there  is 
no  other  way  but  turn,  or  die.- 

O  what  is  the  reason  then  that  the  hearts  of  sinners 
are  not  pierced  with  such  a  weighty  truth  ?  A  man 
would  think  now;  that  every  unconverted  soul  that 
hears  these  words  should  be  pricked  to  the  heart, 
and  think  with  themselves,  this  is  my  own  case,  and 
never  be  quiet  till  they  found  themselves  converted. 
Believe  it,  this  drowsy,  careless  temper  will  not  last 
long.  Conversion  and  condemnation  are  both  of  them 
awakening  things;  and  one  of-them  will  make  you 
feel  ere  lohg.  I  can  foretel  it  as  truly^as  if  I  saw  it 
with  my'  eyes,  that  either  grace  or  hell  will  shortly 
bring  these  matters  to  the  quick,  and  make  you  say, 
What  have  I  done !   what  a  foolish,  wicked  course 

34  A    CALL   TO    THE    UNCOlJVE^JpD^ 

hqt}^  I  taken  !  The  gpo^flfyl  and  tHp  stupid  $tate  of 
sinners  will  la^t  but  a  little  whil? ;  9SS9PP  ^s  they 
either  turn  or  die,  the  prJe$^^tpt^o^s  <i«"eam  wfill  be  at 
an  end,  and  then  their  wits  ^fld  feelings  will  j^turn. 
,  But  I  foresee  there  are  two  things  that  are  li|k^y  to 
l^i^r^ien  tl^e  unconverted,  and  make  me  lose  a,^  ipy 
labour,  except  they  can  be  taken  out  of  the  way; 
s^nd  that  is  tbe  misunderstanding  of  the^e  tvvo  worils, 
the  wicked  and  turn.  3pme  wij.)  think  to  themselves, 
if  is  true,  the,  wicked  must  tuj^n,  or  die ;  bvf,  y)hat  is 
thai  to  me,  I  am  not  wicked;  though  I  am  «  sinner , 
all  men  be.  Others  will  think,  it  is  true  thai  we  muftt 
turn  from  our  evil  ways  ;,  but  I  am  turned  long  ago; 
I  hope  this  is  not  now  tq  do.  And  tbus,  while  wicked 
men  think  they  are  not  wicked,  but  are  alreaidy  con- 
verted, we  lose  all  our  labour  in  persuading  thera  to 
ty.rn.  I  sha.ll,  therefore,  before  I  go  any  further,  tell 
you  who  9ve  meant  by  the  wicked ;  and  v^ho  they  be 
tl),at  must  turn  or  die;  ^^ncl  also,  ^l^at  is  meant  by 
turning;  and  who  they  be  that  s^ye  truly  converted: 
adid  this  I  have  ptirposely  reserved  for  this  place, 
preferring  the  method  that  fits  my  end. 

And  here  yoU  may  observe»  that  in  the  senge  of 
the  text,  a  wicked  man  aijjd  a.  converted  va^a  are 
conjirafies.  No  man  is  a  wicked  man  that  is  con- 
verted, and  no  man  is  a  converted  m^n  tb^t  is  wicked ; 
so  that  to  be  a  wicked  man,  and  to  be  an  unconvertecl 
man,  is  all  one:  and  therefore  in  opening  one,  we 
shall  open  both. 

Before  I  can  tell  you  what  either  wickedness  or 
conversion  is,  I  must  go  to  the  bottomi  .and  fel^h  up. 
the  matter  from  the  beginning. 

It  pleased  the  great  Creator  of  the  world  to  make 
three  sorts  of  living  creatures :  angels  he  made  pure 
spirits,  without  flesh ;  and  therefore  he  made  theon 

A    CAtL   TO   tME   ttiUCOifVERTED.  35 

only  for  heaven,  and  not  to  dwell  on  earth,  firates 
y^eve  madfe  fl^sh,  without  itiiifabttal  souls;  and  there- 
fore they  were  made  Only  for  earth,  and  nbtfor  heaven. 
Man  is  of  a  niiddle  nature,  between  both,  as  partaking 
of  both  flesh  dnd  spirit ;  and  therefore  he  was  made 
both  for  heaven  and  earth  :  but  as  his  flesh  is  made  to 
be  but  a  servant  to  his  spirit,  so  is  he  made  for  earth 
but  as  his  passage  Or  way  to  heaven,  and  not  that  this 
should  be  his  home  or  happiness.  The  blessed  state 
Which  man  was  made  for,  was  to  behdld  the  glorious 
Majei^ty  of  the  Lord,  to  praise  him  among  his  hbly 
angels,  and  to  love  hiitt,  alid  to  be  filled  with  {lis  Ibve 
for  eVeh  And  as  this  was  the  end  Which  man  was 
made  for,  so  God  gives  hJEH^i^eans  fitted  to  attaiti  it. 
Thfesfe  liieans  were  priiii^y^n3<?two :  First,  the  right 
inclination  ahd  disi)dsilQi5^"bf '  the  mind  of  man. 
Secondly,  The  right  ofde^Sgl  of  his  life  dnd  practice. 
Fbh  the  first,  God  suited  the  disposition  of  man  to 
his  eiid,  §;i^in|;  hittl  Such  know^ledgie  of  God  as  was 
fit  fdt  hi6  present  state,  and  a  heart  disjjosed  and 
itieliile'd  to  God  in  holy  Ibve.  Btit  yet  he  did  riot 
confirm  hirtt  in  this  condition  ;  but  having  made  him 
dfl-efe  agent,  he  left  hitti  in  the  hatids  of  hi^  bwti  free 
Will.  *  Fbrthe  sfecbnd,  God  did  thjli;  Which  belonged 
to  hini ;  that  is,  he  galve  riiari  a  perfect  law,  requiring 
him  to  continue  in  the  loye  of  God,  aiid  perfectly  to 
obey  hittt.  By  the  WilftU  breach  6f  this  laW,  mad  did 
not  only  fdtfeit  his  hopes  of  everlasting  life,  but  also 
tdf-il^d  hife  tte'dtt  fl-brri  God,  and  fiied  it  on  these  lower 
fleshly  things,  arid  hereby  blotted  out  the  spiritual 
itriage  of  God  fi'olii  (lis  soul;  so  that  he  fell  short  of 
the  gibfy  Of  God,  Vt'hich  was  his  end,  and  put  himfeelf 
but  Of  the  way  by  Which  he  should  havfe  attdined'if, 
and  this  both  a^  to  the  ffatrie  of  his  heart  arid  Of  his 
life.   The  holy  inclinatioii  atid  love  of  his  soul  to  God, 

&6  A    CAhl^   '5fQ    T-RE   UNCPNVERTED. 


helqst;  ai(d,  instead  jof. it,  he  contracted  ap  inclination 
andjoye  totjli^pleasipg  of  bi§  flesh  or  carnal  self,  by 
earthly  jthjngs,  gjX)wio§  strange  to  God,  andacquainted 
gfitlj,the;CrjeAtiir,e;:, the,  course  of  this  life  was  suited 
to  t^ljeiotjEind  inclination  of.  his  heart;  he  lived  to, 
his  own  wijj,  and  ijot  to, God:,  he  sought  the  creature, 
^f|r,  the  pleasing  of  hjs  fle^h,  instead  of  seeking  to  please 
the  Jyprd.     With  this  natpre  or  corrupt  inclination, 
we  are  all  now  born  ymo  the  world ;  for  who  can  bring 
a  .clean  thing  out  of  ari  unclean  ?*   As  a  lion  ha^  a 
fierpe  gnd  cju^l. nature  b.eforp  he  devours,    and  an 
adc|er  a  venomous  nature  la^fore  she  stings;  so  in  our 
infancy  we  haverthpse  sinful  natures,  or  inclinations, 
befpre  we  think,  or  sii^ifeiffr  do  amiss:  and  hence 
spring  all  the  sin  of  jOujj^Ygji ;  and,  not  only  so,  but 
vyhen  God  has  of  his^jnfji(^,provided  us  a  remedy, 
evpn  fl^e  ^prd;  Jesus  Cbjltf*)  to  be  the  Saviour  of  our 
souls,  Md  bring  u^,  back  to  God,  ^ye  naturally  love 
our  present  statj^^'an/i,  are  Joath  tqbe  brought  out  of 
it,  and  ther^fcvre  afe/se,t,ag9ipst  ibe  means  of  our 
repoyery ;  and  tl^qugh  custom  has  taught  us  to  thank 
Christ  for  lijs  good-wiIl»  yet,we  refuse  his  remedies, 
i^nd  (l?si''e  l»j]be  excused  whqn  we  are  commanded  to 
jtake,  ,thp  ptiedicines  whiclt  ,l<e  offers,  and  are  called 
to  fprs^ke  all,  and  follow  him.  to  God  and  glory. 

I  pray  you  read  over  this  leaf  again,  and  marl^  it ; 
for  iiv^the^p  words  you  haye. et  t|:ue  description. pf  our 
natural  state,  and  consequently  of  a  wicked,  man ; 
fpr  every  man  that  is.  in  th^  sfatp  of  qqrrupted  nature 
is  a^yyickied  man,  apd  in  a  state  of ^eath.      ^     ,  |  - 

By  this  also  you  are  prepared  to  understand  w^at 

it  is  to  be  converted;  to  \yhich  ead  you  must  further 

know,  that  thp  mercy  of  God,  not  willing  thatmaij 

should  perish  inhis  sin,  provided  a  remedy,  by  causing 

„*!.','  .  •;  :<■■  Job  xiy.  4< 

A    CALL   TO   THE    tTNCONVERTED.  37 


his  Son  to  take  Qur  natiife  upon  him ;  and,  being  in 
one  person  God  and  man,  to  become  a  Mediator 
between  God  and  man  ;  and  by  dying  for  our  sins  on 
the  cross,  to  ransom  us  from  the  curse  of  God,  and 
power  of  the  devil :  and  having  thus  redeemed  us, 
the  Father  has  delivered  us  into  his  hands  as  his  own. 
Hereupon  the  Father  and  the  Mediator  make  a  new 
I'dwand  covenant  for  man:  notlike  the  first,  which  gave 
life  to  none  but  the  perfectly  obedient,  and  condemned 
man  for  every  sin ;  but  Christ  has  made  a  law  of  grace, 
or  a  promise  of  pardon  and  everlasting  life  to  all  that 
by  true  repentance  and  by  faith  in  Christ  are  converted 
unto  God  :  like  an  act  of  oblivion,  which  is  made  by 
a  prince  to  a  company  of  rebels,  on  condition  they 
lay  downi  their  arms  and  come  in,  and  be  loyal  subjects 
for  the  time  to  come. 

But  because/the  Lord  knows  that  the  heart  of  man 
is  grown  so  wicked,!  that  men  will  not  except  of 
the  remedy,  if  they  be  left  to  themselves,  therefore  the 
Holy  Ghost  has  undertaken  it  as  his  office  to  inspire 
the  apostles,  and  seal  up  the  scriptures  by  miracles 
and  wonders,  and  to  illuminate  and  convert  the  sons 
of  the  elect. 

So  that  you  see,  as  there  are  three,  persons  in  the 
Trinity,  the  Father,  the;Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost; 
so  each  of  these  persons  have^  their  several  works, 
which  are  eminently  ascribed  to  them. 

The  Father's  works  were,  to  create  us,  to  rule  us 
as  his  rational  creatures  by  the  law  of  nature,  and 
judge  us  thereby;  and  in  mercy  to  provide  us  a 
Jtedeedier  when  we  are  lost,  and  to  send  his  Son, 
and  accept  his  ransom. 

The  works  of  the  Son,  for  us,  were  these:  to  ransom 
jand  redeem  us  by  his  sijflferings  and  righteousness,  to 
giye  out  the  promise  or  law  of  grace,  and  rule  and 



judge  the  world  as  their  Redeemer,  on  the  terirts  of 
grace ;  and  to  make  intercession  for  usy  that  the 
benefits  of  his  death  may  be  communicated;  and  to 
*ehd  the  Holy  Ghost  which  the  Father  also  does  by 
the  Soft. 

The  works  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  for  us,  are  thesd: 
To  indite  the  holy  scriptures,  by  inspiring  and  guiding 
the  prophets  and  apostles,  and  sealing  the  word  b^ 
his  miraculous  gifts  and  works ;  and  the  illuminating 
arid  exciting  the  ordinary  ministers  of  the  gospel,  and 
so  enabling  theto  to  publish  the  word;  and  by  the 
Sartie  Word  iUurttinating  and  converting  the  souls  of 
then.  So  that  as  we  could  hot  have  beidn  reasbnElble 
creatures,  if  the  Father  had  not  created  usj  nor  have 
had  any  access  to  God,  if  the  Son  had  not  redeemed 
us,  so  neither  can  we  have  a  part  in  Christ,  ot  be 
saved,  except  the  Hbly  Gbbst  sahctify  us. 

So  you  itiay  see  the  several  causes  of  this  work. 
The  Father  sends  his  Son  ;  the  Son  redeetiis  uSj  and 
makes  the  promise  of  grace ;  the  Holy  Ghust  indit^ 
and  seals  this  gospel ;  the' apostles  are  the  s6eretariefe 
of  the  Spirit  to  write  it ;  the  preachers  of  the  gospel 
proclaim  it;  and  the  Holy  Ghost  makes  thi^fr  pfeabhitig 
efFfectual,  by  Opening  the  hearts  of  men  to  fedfeiv^  it. 
And  all  this  to  restore  the  iitt^e  of  G6d  tO  the  soul, 
and  set  the  heart  upon  GOd  again,  eitjd  ^  to  turn  th^ 
current  of  the  life  into  a  heafvefniy  course;  aftd  afll 
this  by  the  reception  of  Chfi^t  by  faith*  'H'« 

By  wHati  I  have  said,  fm  may  sefe  i^hat  ife  h  m> 
be  wicked,  and  whSt  it  is  to  be  converted ;  vrhltjh, 
I  think,  will  be  yet  plainer  to  ydaj  if  Idesfetibe  tb&lth 
as  consisting  of  their  several  parts  j  Afld'fbff he  first, 
a  wicked  man  riiay  bfe  MtldW'n  by  these  thrfee  thiftgs. 

First,.  He  is  one  who  plaeeth  bis  ch'itf  coritetit'6* 
earthj  and  loveth  the  creature  more'  than  God,  afld 

A    CALL   TO   T«E   UNCONVERTED.  39 

his  fleshly  prosperity  above  the  heavenly  felicity, 
JJe  savoureth  the  things  of  the  flesh,  but  neithe? 
disperneth  nor  savoureth  the  things  of  the  spirit; 
though  he  will  say  that  heaven  is  better  than  earth, 
yet  does  he  not  really  so  esteem  it  to  himself.  If  he 
Vaight  be,  sure  of  earth,  he  would  let  go  heaven,  and 
had  rather  stay  here  than  be  removed  thither,  A  life 
of  perfect  holiness  in  the  sight  of  God,  and  in  his  love 
and  praises  for  ever  in  heaven,  do  not  find  such  liking 
with  his  heart  as  a  life  of  health,  and  wealth,  and 
honour  here  upon  esfrth:  and  though  he  falsely  profess 
that  he  loves  God  above  all,  yet  indeed  he  never  felt 
the  power  of  divine  love  within  him  ;  but  his  mind 
is  mojre  set  on  the  world  or  fleshly  pleasures  than  on 
God.  In  a  word,  whoever  loves  earth  above  heaven, 
and  fleshly  prosperity  more  than  God,  is  a  wicked, 
unconverted  man. 

On  the  other  hand,  a  converted  man  is  illuminated 
to  discern  the  loveliness  of  God  ;  and  so  far  believes 
the  glory  that  is  to  be  had  with  God,  that  his  heart  is 
set  more  on  it  than  on  any  thing  in  this  world.  He 
had  rather  see  the  face  of  Qod,  and  live  in  his  ever- 
lasting iove  and  praises,  than  have  all  the  wealth  or 
pleasure  of  the  world.  Hei  sees  that  all  things  else 
are  vanity,  and  nothing  but  God  can  fill  the  soul ;  and 
therefore  let  the  world  go  which  way  it  will,  he  lays 
up  his  treasures  and  hopes  in  heaven ;  and  for  that 
he  is  resolved  to  let  gb  all.  As  the  fire  mounts 
upward,  and  the  needle  that  is  touched  with  the 
loadstone  turns  to  the  north,  so  the  converted  soul  is 
inclined  unto  God.  Nothing  else  can  satisfy  him; 
nor  can  he, find  any  content  and  rest  but  in  his  love. 
In  a  word,  all  that  are  converted,  esteem  and  love  God 
better  thai^  all  the  world ;  and  the  heavenly  felicity 
is  dearer  to  them  than  their  fleshly'  prosperity.    The 

40  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

proof  of  what  I  have  said  you  may  find  in  these 
places  of  Scripture:  Phil.  iii.  18,  21.  Mattb.  vi.  19, 
20,  21.  Col.  iii;  1,  2,  3,  4.  Rom.  viii.  5,6,  7,  8,  9, 
18,  33.    Psal.  lxxiii.35,  26. 

Secondly,  A  wicked  man  is  one  that  makes  it  the 
principal  business  of  his  life  to  prosper  in  the  world, 
and  retain  his  fleshly  ends:  and  though  he  may 
read,  and  hear,  and  do  much  in  the  outward  duties 
Of  religion^  and  forbear  disgraceful  sins,  yet  this  is 
but  by-the-bye,  and  he  nfever  makes  it  the  trade  and 
principal  business  of  his  life  to  please  God  and  attain 
everlasting  glory ;  he  puts  off  God  with  the  leavings 
of  the  world,  and  gives  him  no  more^  service  than 
the  flesh  can  spare;  for  he  will  not  part  with  all  for 

On  the  contrary,  a  converted  man  is  one  that  makes 
the  principal  care  an(J  business  of  his  life  to  please 
God,  and  to  be  saved,  and  takes  all  the  blessings,  of 
this  life  but  as  accommodations  in  his  journey  towards 
another  lifej  and  uses  the  creature  in  subordination 
to  God;  he  loves  a  holy  life,  and  lotigs  to  be  more 
holy;  he  has  no  sin  but  what  he  hates,  and  longs, 
and  prays,  and  strives  to  be  rid  of.  The  drift  and 
bent  of  his  life  is  for  God;  and  if  he  sin,  it  is  contrary 
to  the  very  bent  of  his  heart  and  life,  and  therefore  he 
rises  again  and  laments  it,  and  dare  not  wilfully  live 
in  any  known  sin:  there  is  nothing  in  this  world  so 
dear  to  him  but  he  can  give  it  up  to  God,  and  forsake 
it  for  him  and  the  hopes  of  glory.  All  this  you  may 
see  in  Col.  iii..  1,  2,  3,  4,  5.  Matth.  vi.  20,  33. 
Luke  xviii.  23,  23,  29.  Luke  xiv,  18,  34,  26,  27. 
Rom.  viii.  13.    Gal.  v.  34.    Luke  xii.  31,  &c. 

Thirdly,  The  soul  of  a  wicked  man  did  never  truly 
discern  and  relish  the  mystery  of  redemption,,  nor. 
thankfully  entertain  an  offered  Saviour;  nor  is  he- 


taken  up  with  the  love  of  the  Redeemer,  nor  willing 
to  be  ruled  by  him  as  Physician  of  his  soul,  that  he 
may  be  saved  from  the  guilt' and  power  of  his  sing^ 
and  recovered  unto<5od:  but  his  heart  is  insensible 
of  this  unspeakable^  benefit,  and  is  q^iite  against  the 
healing  means  by  which  he  should  be  recovered. 
Though  he  may  be  wiHing  to  be  carnally  religious', 
yet  he  never  resigns  up  his  soul  to  Christ,  and  to  the 
motions  and  conduct  of  his  word  and  spirit. 

On  the  contj-arvy  the  converted  soul  having  felt 
himself  undone  by  sin,  and  perceiving  that'he  has  lost 
his  peace  with  God,  and  hopes  of  heaven j  and  is  in 
danger  of  everlasting  misery,  does  thankfully  entertaia 
the  tidings  of  redemption,  and  believing  in  the  Lord 
Jesus  as  his  only  Saviour,  resigns  up  himself  to 
him  for  wisdom,  righteonstiess,  sanctification,  and 
redemption.  He  takes  Christ' as'  the  life  of  his  soul, 
aiid  lives  by  him,  and  uses  him  as  a  salve  for  every 
sore,  admiring  the  wisdom  and  love  of  God  in' this 
wonderful  work  of  man' s  redemption.  In  a  word, 
Christ  does  even  dwell  in  his  heart  by  faith;  and  the 
life  that  he  now  lives  is  by  the  faith  of  the.  Son 
of  God,  who  has  loved  him,  and  given  himself  for 
him.  Yea,  it  is  not  so  much  he  that  lives  as  Christ 
in  him. 

You  see  now,  in  plain  terms,  from  the  word  of 
God,  who  are  the  wicked,  and  who  areihe  converted. 
Ignorant  people  think,  that  if  a  man  b^  no  swearer, 
or  curser,  or  railef,  or  drunkard,  or  fornicator,  or 
extortioner,  nor  wrong  any  body  in  his  dealings;  and 
if  he  go  to  church,  and  say  his  prayers,  he  cannot  be 
a  wicked  man.  Or  if  a  man,'' ^ho  has  been  guilty  of 
drunkenness,  swearing,  gaming,- or  the  like  vices,  do 
but  forbear  them  for  the  time  to  come,  they  think 
that  this  is  a  converted  man.    Othefs  think,  if  a  man 

43  A.   CA-^%-  /TQ    IH|E    UN[CQiNVEJR;rED. 

wiho  has  bpen  an  enf pay , and  scQrner,  of.  religion,,  da. 
butapprOveit,  atid.joinbimseJf  with  good  pnep,  and 
be  hat§d  for  it  by  th^,?wicked,.  thj(§t  tnustvAeeds  be  a 
qOtiverted  man.  cAjwl  some  are  go  foolishas  to  think 
tbieyajie  converted,  by;  taking  Mp  some  new  opinion; 
dr  by  falling  intp  some  paiftyr,  as:Anabaptists,  Quakers, 
Fapists,  or  suob-  like;  ,  And  some  thinks  if  they  haVe 
but  be$0: affrighted  by  the  fears  of  hell,  j^n4  thereupon 
have  purposed  and  promised  amendments  ;^nd  taken 
Hp  a  Ufe  of  civil  behfivioui:  and  outward  jeligipn,  this 
myst  need?,  be  true,  conversion.  And  these  are  the 
poor  ideliided,  souls  that  are  like  toJflse^the  benefit 
of  all  our  persuasions:  iand,  when  they  hear  that  the' 
nwickedimust  t;yrn  pr  die,  they  think,  that,  this  is  not 
spoken  ,to  them ;  for,  they  are  not,  wicked,  but  are 
turned  already,  j  And  therefore  it  is  that  Christ  told 
some  of  the  ruierpof  theJews,  who  were  more  moral 
and  civil  than  ,the  common  people,  thati /»Mfe&'caM* 
■and  ^anhtsgo  intQjfie  kingdom  of  God  before  them^f 
Not  that  ajharlot  or  gross  sinper  can  b^  saved  without 
convrersion  ;  but  because  it  was  easier  to  make  those 
gross  sinners  perceive  their  sin,  and  the  necessity,of 
a  change.  ; , ,  ,;  ,,   .;,,;    *  ' 

.  P  sirs,  conversion  is  a.not|ier  «J^ind  of  w0rk  than 
most  are  aware  of:  it  is  not  a  small  matter  to, bring 
an  ear,thly  mind  to  heaven,  and  to  show  man  the 
amiable  excellei^cies  of  God,,  till  he  be  t^eAlup  with 
such  love. to, him  as  cannot  easily,  be  quenched; ;  to 
.^)feak  the  heart,  for  siny  and  make  him  fly  for  -refuge 
to, Christ,  af)d  thankfully  embrace,  him  as  the;life,'Of 
fiissoql ;  to  have  the  very  drift  and:  bent  of  t^e  heart 
and  life  chapged,  so  tiiat  he  renounces  that  which  he 
, took  for  his  felicity,  and  places,  his  felicity  where 
he   never  did,  before;    and  jive?  not  to  the  same 

*  Matt,  xxi.  30,.: 

A    CALL    TO    THE   l^NCdNVERTED'.  45 

end,  and  drives  not  on  the  sanne  design  in  the -world 
as  h6  fdrmeriy  did.  U&  thdt  is  in  Christ  is  a  neO) 
creature:  old  things  are  passed  away;  behold,  all 
things  ar^  become  new.*  He  hais  a  new  understand- 
ing, a  new  will  and  fesolution,;  nevv  sorrows  anct 
desires,  and  love,  and  delight.;  new  thoughts,  new 
speeches,- new  company  (if  possible),  and  a  new  con- 
versation. Sin,  which  before  Wafs  a  j€stib|^  matter 
with  bitfl,  is  now  so  odtouS  arid  terrible  to  him,  that 
he  flies  frbta  it  as  from  death.  The  world,  which' 
was  so  lovely  in  ffis  eyes;  does  now  Appeal"  but  ^s 
vanity  and  Vexation  :  Gbd,  who  was  before  neglected, 
is  now  the  only  happiness  of  his  soul:  before  he  was 
forgotten,  and  every  lust  preferred  before  him;  but 
now  he  is  set  next  the  heart,  and  all  things  must 
give  place  toihira;  and  the  heart  is  taken  up  in  the 
attendance' and  observance  of  him,  and  is  grieved 
when  he  hides  hrs  face,  and  never  thinks  itsfelf  WfeW 
without  him.  Christ  hilnself,  who  was  wont  to  be 
slightly  thought  of,  is  now'his  only  hope  and  refuge, 
and  he  lived  upon  him  as  on  his  daily  bread:  he 
cannot  pray  without  hitn,  nor  rejoice  without  him, 
nor  think,  nor  speak,  nor  live  without  him.  Heaven 
itself,  that  before  was  looked  "upon  but  as  a  tolerable 
reserve,  which  he  hoped  might  serve  his  turn  better 
than  hell,  when  he  could  not  stay  any  longer  in  the 
v/orld,  is  now  taken  for  his  home,  the  place  of  his 
only  hope  and  rest,  where  he  shall  see,  and  love,  and 
praise  that  God  who  has  his  heart  already.  Hell, 
which  seemed  before  but  as  a  bugbear  to  frighten 
men  from  sin,-  now  appears  to  be  a  real  misery :  the 
works- of  holiness,  which  before  he  was  weary  of,  are 
now  both  his  recreation  and  his  business.  The  Bible, 
which  was  before  to  him  but  as  a  common  book,  is 
*  8  Cor.  V.  17.  ■  ; 

44  A    CALL    TO    THE    trNC'ONV^HTED* 

now  as  the  law  of  God,  as  a  letter,  written  to  him 
from  heaven,  and  subscribed  with  the  name  of  the 
eternal  Majesty;  it  is  the  rule  of  his  thoughts,  and 
words,  and  deeds;  the  commands  are  binding,  the 
threats  are  dreadful,  and  the  promises  of  it  speak  life 
to  his  soul.  The  godly,  who  seemed  to  him  but  like 
othfer  men,  are  now  the  excellent  of  the  earth  ;  and 
the  wickedj  who  were  his  playfellows,  are  now  his 
grief;  and  he  who  could  laugh  at  their  sin,  is  readier 
now  to  weep  for  their  sin  and  misery.  In  short,  he 
has  a  new  end  in  his  thoughts,  and  a  new  way  in  his 
endeavours,  and  therefore  his  heart  and  life  are  new. 
Before,  his  pleasure  and  worJdly  profits  and  credit 
were  his  way  ;  and  now  God  and  everlasting  glory  is 
his  end;  and  Christ,  and  the  Spirit,  and  word,  and 
ordinances.  Holiness  to  God,  and  righteousness 
and  mercy  to  men  ;  these  are  his  way.  Before,  self 
was  the  chief  ruler,  to  which  the  matters  of  God 
and  conscience  must  stoop  and  give  place;  and  now 
God,  in  Christ,  by  the  Spirit,  word,  and  ministry,  is 
the  chief  ruler,  to  whom  both  self  and  all  the  matters 
of  self  must  give  place.  So  that  this  is  not  a  change 
in  one  or  two,  or  twenty  points,  but  in  the  whole 
soul,  and  the  very  end  and  bent  of  the  conversation. 
A  man  oiay  step  out  of  one  path  into  another,  and 
yet:  have  his  face  the  same  way,  and  be  still  going 
towards  the  same  place;  but  it  is  ainother  matter  to 
turn  back  again,  and  take  his  journey  the  direct  con- 
trary way  to  a  contrary  place.  So  it  is  here;  a  man 
may  turn  from  drunkenness  to  thriftines^,  and  forsake 
his  good  fellowship,  and  other  disgracehil  sins,  and 
set  upon  some  duties  of  religion,  and  yet  be  stiU 
going  to  the  same  end  as  before,  intending  his  carnal 
self  above  all,  and  giving  it  still  the  government  of 
bis  soul ;  but  when  he  is  converted,  this  self  is  denied 


and  taken  down,  and  God  is  set  up*  and  hia  face  is 
turned  the  contrary  way.:*  and  lie  that  before  was 
addicted  to  himself,  and  lived  to  himself,  is  now,  by 
saQctificat)dn,<  devoted  to  God,  and  lives  unto  God. 
Before,  he.asked  himself  what  he  should  do  with  his 
time,  :his  parts,  and  his  estate,  and  for  himself  he 
used  them  ;  but  now  he  asks  God  what  he  shall  do 
with  them,  and  uses  them  for  him.  Before,  he  would 
please  God  so  far  as  might  stand  with  the  pleasure 
of  his  flesh  and  carnal  self,  J>ut  not  to  any  great 
displeasure,  of  theO) ;  bUt  now  he  will  please  Godj 
let.  flesh  and  self  be  never  so  much  displeased.  This 
is  the  great  change  that  God  will  make  upon  all  that 
shall  be  saved. 

You  can  say,  that  the  Holy  Ghost  is  our  Sanctifier, 
but.doyou  know  what  siinctifkation  is  ?  Why  this  is 
it  that  I  have  jiow  opened  to  you ;  apd  every  man  and 
woman  in  the  world.must  have  this,  or  be  condemned 
to  everlasting  misery.  ^.They  must  turn  or  die. 
.  Do  you  believe  this,  sirs,  or  do  you  not?  Surely 
you  dare  not  say  lyou  do  not.  These  are  not  con- 
troversies, \yhere  one  pious  man  is  of  one  mind,  and 
another  of  another;  all  Christians  are  agreed  in  this; 
and  if  you  will  not  believe  theGod  of  truth,  and  that 
in  a  case  where  every  sect  and  party  believe  him,  you 
are  utterly  inexcusable. 

But  if  you  do  believe  this,  how  comes  it  to  pass 
that  you  live  so  quietly  in  an  unconverted  state  ? 
Do  you  know  that  you  are  converted  ?  Can  you  find 
this  wonderful  change  upon  your  souls  ?  Have  you 
been  thus  born  again,  and  made  anew  ?  Are  not 
these  strange  matters  to  many  of  you,  and  such  as 
you  never  felt  upon  yourselves?  K you  cannot  tell 
the  day  or  week  of  your  change,  or  the  very  sermon 
that  converted  you,  yet  do  you  find  that  the  work  is 


donefjT'and  that  you  have  such,  hearts  as  are  befofe 
described?  'Alas,  I  the.,  most  follow  their  worldly 
bdsJness,  and  little  trouble. their  minds  with  such 
thoughts!  And  if  they  be  but  restrained  from  scan- 
dalous sins,  and  can  say,  I  am  no  whoremonger,  or 
thief,  or  curser,  or  swearer,  or  tippler,  or  extortioner; 
I  go  to  church  and  say  my  prayers:  they  think  this 
true  conversion^  and  th^  shall  be  saved  as  wiell,  as 
any;  Alas,  this  is  a  foolish  cheating  of  yourselves  ! 
Xhis  isf  too  igross  neglect  of  your  immortal  souls. 
Can  you  make  so  light  of  heaven  and  hell?  Your 
corpses,  will  shortly  lie  in  the  dust,i  and  angels  or 
devils  will  presently  seize  upon  your  souls;  and  every 
man  and  woman  of  you  all  will  shortly  be  among 
other  company,  and  in  another  case  thah  now  you 
are:,  you  will  dwell  in  those  houses  but  a  little  longer; 
you  will  work  in  your  shops  and  fields  but  a  little 
longer;  you  will  sit  in  these  seats  and  dwell  on  this 
earth  but  a  little  longer;  you  Will  see  with  these 
eyes, -and  hear  with  those  ears,  and  sp^ak  with 
those  tongues  but  a  little  longer :  and  can  you  forget 
this  ?  O  what  a  place  will  you  be  shortly  in  of  joy  or 
torment!  O,  what  a, sight  will  you  shortly  see  in 
heaven  or  hell }  O  what  thoughts  will  shortly  fill 
your  hearts  with  unspeakable  delight  or  horror  1— 
What  work  will  you  be  employed  in  ?  To  praise 
the  Lord  with  saints  and  angels,  or  to  cry  out  in  fire 
unquenchable  with  devils  ?  And  should  all  this*  be 
forgotten?  And  ail  this  will  be  endless,  and  sealed 
up  by  an  unchangeable  decree.  Eternity,  eternity, 
will  be  the  measure  of  your  joys  or  sorrows ;  and  can 
thi§  be  forgotten?  And  all  this  is  true^  sirs;  most 
certainly  true:  when  you  have  gone  up  and  down 
a  little  longer,  and  slept  and  awaked  a  few  times 
more,  you,  wijl  be  dead  and  gone,  and  find  all  true 

~'A    CALL   10   XlfEl^X CONVERT*: B.  47 

which  nbw  I  tell  you.     Andean  you  now- forget  it? 
You  shall  then  reiheiubert  that  you  hear  this  seroron; 
and  that  on  this  day,  and  in ;  this 'place,  you  were 
remembered  of  these  i things  :  and  yet  shall  they  be 
now  so  much  forgotten  ?'■  adi      i'    tvo  i  '^Uii  socf 
ti .  Beloved  friends,  if  the  Lord  had  not  awakened  me  t6 
believe  and  liay  to  heart  thesedhings  myself,  1  should 
have-perished  for  ever:. but  if  he  has  mademe  sensible 
of  them.^it  will,con8train'->me  to  comflassioriate  yoiii 
Wyour  eyes  welre  so  far  .opened,  as  to  see)  hell j,  awd 
you  sawi  your  neighbours,  that  werejiincon verted, 
dragged  thither  with  hideous'cries,  though<they  were 
puch  as  you  accounted  honest  people  on  earth,  and 
feared   no  such  matter  themselves ;    such   a   sighft 
would  make  you  warn  all  about  you,  lest  tliey  should 
go  to  that  place  of  torment.     Why,  faith  is  a  kind/of 
sight ;  it)  is  the  eye  of  the  soul,  the  evidehdeidP''thiBg^ 
not  seen  :  if  I  believe  God,  it  is  next  to  seeing;  and 
itherefore  I  beseech  you  excuse  ime,  if  I  be  as  ^rnefet 
with  you  about  these;  matters  as  if  I  had  seen  theml 
If  Iwere  to  dieto-uiorrow,  and  it  wereih  tay.'p&wei 
to  come  again  from  another  xvorld,  and  tell  you  what 
I  had  seen;  would  you  not  be  willing  to  hear  me? 
And  would  you  not  believe  and)  regard  what  I  should 
tell  you  ?   If  I  might  preach  one  sermon  to  you  after 
I  am  dead,  and  have  seen  what  is  done  in  the  world 
to  come,  would  you  not  have  me  plainly  speak  the 
truth,  and  would  you  not  crowd  to  hear  me?    And 
would  you  not  lay  it  to  heart  ?  But  this  must  not  be; 
Godyihasi  his  appointed  way^of  teaching  you,   by 
scripture  and  tninisters ;    and  he  will   not  humour 
MJ^believers  so  far  as  to ;  send  men  from  the  deAd  to 
them,  and  to  aiter  his  established  way.    If  any  mart 
quarrel  with  the  sun,  God  will  not  humour  hiro  so 
%  asaio  set  hira  up  a  clearer  light.   Friends,  I  beseech 

48  ,A    CAtL   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED. 

you  regard  me  now,  as  you  would  do  if  I  should 
come  from  the  dead  to  you ;  for  I  can  give  you  as 
full  assurance  of  the  truth  of  what  I  say  to  you,  as  if 
I  had  been  there  and  seen  it  with  mine  eyes,  for  it  is 
possible  for  one  from  the  dead  to  deceive  yoti ;  but 
Jesus  Christ  can  never  deceive  you :  the  word  of 
God  delivered  in  scripture,  and  sealed  up  by  the 
miracles  and  holy  workings  of  the  Spirit,  can  never 
deceive  yon.  Believe  this,  or  believe  liothiftg :  believe 
and  obey  this,  ot -you  are  undonei  Now  as  ever  you 
believe  the  word  of  God,  and  as  ever  you  care  for  the 
salvation  of  your  souls,  let  me  beg  of  you  this  reason- 
able request ;  that  you  would,  without  further  delay, 
when  you  are  gone  hence,  remember  what  you  heard, 
and  enter  into  an  earnest  search  of  your  hearts,  and 
say  to  yourselves, — Is  it  so  indeed  ?  Must  I  turn  or 
die  ?  Must  I  be  converted  or  condemned  ?  It  is  time 
for  me  then  to  look  about  me,  befdre  it  be  too  late. 
O'Why  did  I  not  look  after  this  till  now?  Why  did 
I  venturously  put  off  so  great  a  business?  Was 
I  awake  ?  O  blessed  God,  what  a  mercy  is  it  thou 
didst  not  cut  off  my  life  all  this  while?  Well,  God 
forbid  that  I  should  neglect  this  work  any  longer. 
What  state  is  my  soul  in  ?  Am  I  converted,  or  am 
I  not?  Was  ever  such  a  work  done  upon  my  so<il  ? 
Have  I  been  illuminated  by  the  word  and  Spirit  of 
the  Lord,  to  see  the  odiousness  of  sin,  the  need  of  a 
Saviour,  the  love  of  Christi  and  the  ex<:ellencies 
of  God  and  glory  ?  Is  my  heart  broken,  or  humbled 
within  me,  for  ray  former  life  ?'  Have  I  thankfully 
entertained  my  Saviour  and  Lord,  who  offered  him- 
self with  pardon  and  life  to  my  soul?  Do  I  hate  my 
former  sinful  life,  and  the  remnant  of  every  sin  that 
is  in  me  ?  Do  I  fly  from  them  as  my  deadly  enemies^? 
Do  I  give  up  myself  to  a  life  of  holiness  and  obedienct 

A    CAtL   TO  THE    UNCONVERTED.  49 

to  God  ?  Do  I  love  it,  and  delight  in  it?  Can  I  truly 

say  that  1  am  dead  to  the  world,  and  that  1  live  for 

God,  and  the  glory  which  he  has  promised?    Has 

heaven  more  of  my  estimation  than  earth?  i  And  is 

God  thedearest  andvhigfaest  in  my  soul?  Once,  lam 

sure,  I  lived  principally  to  the  world  and  the  fleshj 

and'  God  had  nothing  but  some  heartless  services, 

whichthe  world  could  spared  and  which  were  the 

leavings  of  the  flefeh.   Is  my  heart  now  turned  another 

way  ?     Have  I  a  new  design,  and  a  new  «nd,  and  a 

new  train  of  holy  affections  ?    Have  I  set  my  hopes 

and  heart  on  h^ven?    And  is  it  the  design  of  fliy 

heart  and  life,  to  get  well  to  heaven^  and  see  tbd 

glorious 'face  of  God,  and  live  in  his  everlasting  l6Ve 

and  praise?     Do  I -Conquer  all  gross  sins,  and  ain 

I  weary,  and  willing  to  be  rid  of  mine  infirmities: 

This  is  th6  state  of  a  converted  soul.-  And  thus  it 

must  be  With  me j  or  I  must  perish.     Is  it  thUs  with 

me  indeed^  or  is  it  not?  '  It  is  time  to  get  this  doubt 

resolved  before  the  dreadful  Judg^  resolve  it.    lam 

not  such  ,a 'Stranger  to  my  own  heart  and  life,  but 

I  may  p^r-ceive  whether  1  am  thus  concerted ^jr  not: 

if  I  be  not,  it  will  do  me  no  good  to  flattieriffify  soul 

with  false  hopes.     I  am  resolved  no  more  to  deceive 

raysfelf,'  but  endeavour  to  know  trtfly,  Whether  I  am 

converted  i  that  if  I  be,  I  may  rejoioSin  it,  and  glorify 

my  gracious  Lord,  and  comfortably  go  oii  till  I  reach 

the  crown:   but  if  I  b?  not,  I  niay  beg  and  seek 

aftdr  the  grade  that  will  convert  me,  and  turn  without 

anymore  delay;  for  if  I  find  in  time  that  I  am  out 

of  the  way,  by  the  help  of  Christ  I  may  turn  and  be 

recovered:  but  if  I  stay  till  either  my  heart  be  forsaken 

of  God  in  blindness  and  hardness/  or  till  I  be  caught 

away  by  dedtb,  it  is  then  too  late.    There  is  no  place 

'''■■'  ■■     H- 

50  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

for  rep'entahcejaad  conversioa  then:  IJinow  it  must 
be  now  or  never.    ,  ,:     i  ;      y__- 

.  SirSj  this  is  my  request  to  you,  that  you  will  b^ut 
take  your  hearts  to  task,  and  thus  examine  them  till 
you, see,  if  it  may  be  whetberiyou,  are  converted  of 
not  ?  And  fif  you  cannot  find-  it  out  by-  your  own 
endeavours, igo  to  your  ministeris,  if  they  bp  faithful 
and  ej^perieaced  men,  and  desire iheir  assistance:  the 
matter  is  great;  let  not  bashfulness  nor 'carelessness 
hinder  you :  they  are  set  ovef  you,  to  advise  you  for 
the  saving  or  your  soul  as  physicians  advise  you 
for  the.  curing- of  ryour  bodies.  It  undoes  many 
thousands,  that  they  think  they  are  in  the  viray  to 
salvation,  vi^hen  they  are  not;  'and  that  they  are 
converted,  when  it  is  no  such  :thi(ig.  And  itEen, 
when  we  call  to  them,  daily  to  turn,  they  thiak  this 
concerns  not  thfem ;  for  they  are  turned  already,  and 
hope  they  shall  dQiwell  enough  in  the; way  that  they 
are  in,  when  alas,  all  this  while  they  live  to  the  world 
EMid  flesh,  and  are  strangers  to  God  aqd  eternal  life ! 
And  all  this,  because  we  qanno;!  persuade  them  to 
spend  a  few  hours  in^he  ejcaniiHing  of  their  states. 
Are  there  not  many  self-deceiving  wretches  that  hjBar 
me  this  day,  who  never  bestovy;ed  one  hour  in  all  their 
lives,  to  examine  their  souls,  and  try  whether  they 
■were  truly  converted  or  not?  O; merciful  God,  who 
will  care  for  such  wretches,  that  care  no  more  for 
themselves?  If  all  that  are  in  tl^  state  pf- dE^mn^tion 
did  but  know  it,  they  durst  no^  continue  in  it.f  The 
greatest  hope  that  the  devil:  has  of  bringing  yoiU  to. 
damnation  without  a;  rescue,!  is  by  keeping  you 
blindfold  and  ignorant  of  your  state,  and  making  you 
believe  that  you  may  do  wellenough  in  the  way  that 
you,  are  in.  IfyouJinew  that  you  were  lost  for  ever, 
if  you  should  die  as  you  are;  durst  you  sleep-another 


night  in  the  state  that  you  are  in?"  Durst  you  live 
another  day  in  it  ?  Could  you  laqgh,  or  be  merry,  in 
such  a  states?  What !  and  not  know  but  you  may'be 
snatched  away  to  hell  in  an  hour!  Sure,  it  would 
constrain  ydu  to  forsake  your  former  company  and 
courses,  and  to  betake  yourselves  toj  the  ways  oC 
holiness.  Sure,  it  would  drive  you  to  cry  to  God  for 
a  new  heart,  and  to  seek  help  of  those  who  are  fit  to 
counsel  you.  There  is  none  o£  yo,u,  sure,  that  cares 
not  for  being  damned.  Well  th«n,  I  beseech  you, 
presently  make  inquiry  into  your  hearts,'  and  'give 
them  no  rest,  till  you  find  oiit  your  condition  :  that 
if  it  be  good,  you  may  rejoice  in  it,  and  go  on ;  and  if 
it  be  bad,  you  may  presently  look  about  you  for 
recovery,  as  men  that  believe  they  must  turn  or  die. 
What  say  you,  sirs  ?  Will  you;  resolve,  and  promise 
to  be  at  so  much  labour^for  yourown  souls?  Will 
you  fall  upon  this  self-examination  when  yoa  ^o 
home?  Is  my  request  unreasonable?  Your  consciences 
know  it  is  not:  resolve  on  it^then,  before  you  stir; 
knowing  how  much  it  concerns  your  souls.  I  beseech 
you,  for  the  sake  of  that  God  who  ddes  command  you, 
at  whose  bar  you  \yill  shortly  all  appear,  that  you  will 
not  deny  me  this  reasonable  request.  For  the  sake 
of  those  souls  that  must:^rn  or  rfie,  I  beseech  you 
deny  me  not:  make  it  yolir  business  to  understand 
your  own  conditions,  and  build  upon  sure  ground, 
and  know  fbi"  certainty  whether  you  are  converted,  or 
not;  and  venture  not  your  own  souls  on  negligent 
security.  ' 

But  perhaps  you  will  say^  What  if  we  should  find 
ourselves  yet  unconverted,  what  shall  we  do  then? 
This  question  leads  me  to  my  second  doctrine,  which 
will  do  much  to  the  answering  of  it. 

as  A    CAI,t   lO.  TJIE   IINCOKVBRTED. 


Jt  is  the  promise  of  God,  that  the  tl)icked  shqM  live, 
if  they  will  turn. 

The  Lord  here  professes  that  this  is  what  he  takes 
pleasure  in,  that  the  wicked  turn  and  live.  Heaven 
is  made  as  sure  to  the.  converted  as  hell  is  to  the 
unconverted.  Turn  and  live,  is  as  certain  a  tru-th  as 
turn  or  die.  God  was  not  bound  to  ^provide  us  a 
Saviour,  nor  open  to; us, a  door  oY  hope,  ncvr  call  us 
to  repent  and  turn,  when  once  we  had  cast  ourselves 
away  by  sin.  But  he  t has  freely  dot|e  it  to  magnify 
hi^  mercy.  Sinners,  there  are  none  of  you  who  shall 
h^ve  cause  to  go  home,  and  say  I  preach  despair  to 
you.  Are  we. used  to  shut  up  the  door  of  mercy 
against  you  ?  O  that  you  would  not  shut  it  up  against 
yourselves!  Are  we  used  to  tell  you  that  God  will 
have  no  mercy  on  you,  though  you  turn  ?  When  did 
you  hear  a  preacher  say  such  a  word?  You  that  bark 
at  the  preachers  of  the  gospel  for  desiring  to  keep  yoq 
out  of  hell,  and  say  that  they  preach  despair;  tell 
me*  when, did  you  ever  hear  any  sober  man  say  that 
there  is  no  hope  for  you,  though  you  repent  and  be 
converted?  No,  it  is  quite  the  contrary. which  we 
daily  proclaim  from  the  Lord;  that  whoever  is  born 
againi  shall  be  saved :  so  far  are  we  from  persuading 
you  to  despair  of  this,  that  we  persuade  you  not  to 
make  any  doubt  of  it.  It  is  life,  and  not  death,  which 
is  the  first  part  of  our  message  to  you ;  our  commission 
is  to  offer  salvation, — certain  salvation, — a  speedy, 
glorious,  everlasting  salvation,  to  everyone  of  you: 
to  the  poorest  beggar  as  well  as  to  the  greatest  lord;  to 
the  worst  of  you,  even  to  drunkards,  swearers,  thieves, 
yea,  to  the  despis,ersiand  reproachers  of  the  holy  way 
of  salvation :  we  are  commanded,  by  the  Lord  our 


Master^  to  offer  you  a  paTdoti  for  jJl  that  isrpast,  if  you 
will  now  at  last  return  and  live. «>  We  are«bmmarrded 
to  beseech  and  enitreat  you  to  accept 4;he  offer,,  and  to 
tell  you  what  preparation  .is  made  by  Christ;  what 
inercy  steujrs.  for  you  ;:  what  patience  waiteth  on  you  ; 
what  thiougli<ts  of  kindness  God  has  towardfs  you ;  and 
how  happyi,  how  dertarnly  and  unspeakably  happy, 
y«u  may  be  if  youjiwrll.rkWe  have  indeed  also  a 
message  of  wrath  arid  death,  yea,  of  a  twofold  wrath 
and  death;   but  neither  of  them  is  our  principal 
message;  we  must* tell  you  of  the  wrathithat  is  on 
you  already,  and  the  death  that  you  are  born  under: 
but  this  is  only  to  show  you  the  need  of  mercy.   For 
who  will   seek  out  for  physic, .that  knows  not  he 
is  sick?   Our  telling  you  of  your  misery,  is  not  that 
which  makes  you  miserable, rhut  that  which  drives  you 
to  seek  for  mercy.     It  isyou-  that  have  brought  this 
death  upon  yourselves.    iWe  tell  you  also  of  another 
death,  and  much  greater  torment,  which  will  fall  on 
those  who  will  not  be  converted.    But  as  this  is  true, 
and  must  be  told  you,  so  it  is  but  the  last  and  saddest 
part  of  our  message.    We  are  first  to  offer  you  mercy, 
if  you  will  turn  ;  and  it  is  only  those  that  will  not 
turn,   nor  hear  the -voice  of  mercy,*  to  whom  we 
must  fortel  damnation.     If  yoa  will  castaway  your 
transgressiqns,  and  come  at  the  call  of  Christ,  and  be 
converted,  we  have  not  a  word  of  damning  wrath,  or 
d^th,  to  speak  against  you.     1  do  here,  in  th«  name 
of  the  Lord  of  life,  proclaim  to  you  all, — to  the  worst 
of  you,  to  the  greatest,  to  th6  oldest  sinner,  —that  you 
may  have  mercy  and  sAlvatiiari,  if  you  will  but  turn. 
There  is.tmercy  in  God;  there. is  sufficiency  iu  the 
SfttjsfaWion  of  Christ;  the  promise  is  free,  and  tull, 
and  universal ;  you  may  have  life,  if  you  will^but  turn. 
Bttt  then,  as  you  love  your  souls,  .rexnember  what 

54  A    CALL    lO   THE    UNCONVERTED. 

turning  it  is  which  the  scripture  speeiks  of.  It  is  not 
to  mend  the  old.  house,  but. -to  pull  down  all,' and 
build  ane\v,  on  Christ,  the  rock  and  sure  foundation. 

Yourselves  are  witnesses  now,  that  it  is  salvation, 
_and  not  damnation,  which  is  the  great  doctrine  I 
preach  to  you;  and  the  first  part  of  my  message  to 
you.  Accept  of  this,  and  we  shall  go  no  farther; 
for  we  would  not  trouble  you  with  the  name  of 
damnation,  without  necessity. 

But  if  you  will  not  be  saved,  there  is  no  remedy;" 
but  damnation  must  take  place.  For  there  is  no 
middle  place  between  the  two:  you  must  have  either 
life  or  death.  / 

And  we  are  not  only,  to  offer  you  life,  but  to  show 
you  the  grounds  on  which  we  do  it,  and  call  you  to 
believe  that  God  does  mean,  indeed,  as  he  speaks j 
that  the  promise  is  true,  and  extends  conditionally 
to  ycm  as  well  as  others ;  and  that  heaven  is  no  fancy, 
but  a  true  felicity.  ■' 

If  you  ask,  where  is  our  commission  for  this  offer? 
among  a  hundfed  texts  of  scripture,  I  will  show  it 
to  you  in  these  few.  ,  ! 

First,  you  see  it  here  in  my  text,  and  the  following 
verses,  and  in  the  18th  of  Ezekiel,  as  plain  as  can  be 
spoken.  /  And  in  2  Cor.  ;v.  17,  18,  19,  30,  21,  you 
have  the,Arery  sum  of  our^  commission:  If  any  man 
he  in  Christ,  he  is  a  new  creature:  old  things* are 
passed  away;  hehold  all  things' are  become  new.  And 
all  things  are  of  God,  who.  hath  reconciled  tts  to 
himself  by  Jestts  Christ,  and  hath  given  to  us  the 
ministry  of  reconciliajtixm ;  to  wit,  that  God  was 
in  Christ,  reconciling  the  world  unto  himself^;  ndt 
imputing  their  trespasses  unto  them;  and  hath 'com- 
mitted uhto  us  the  word  of  reconciliation.  Now  then 
we  are  ambassadors  for  •  Christy  as  though  <  God  did' 

4    CALL   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED..  55 

beseech ym  hy us:  we  pray  you  in  Christ's  stead,  be 
ye  reconciled  to  God :  for  he  hath  made  him  to  be  sin 
for  us,  who  knew  no  sin;  that  we  might  be  ntade  the 
righteousness  of  God  in  him:  So  Mark  xvi.  15,  16. 
Go  ye  into  the  world,  and  preach  the  gospel  to  every, 
creature :  he  that  believeth,  (that  is,  with  such  a 
converting  faith  as  is  expressed)  and  is  baptized,  shall 
be  saved ;  but  he  that  believeth  not,  shall  be  damned: 
And'  Luke  xxiv.  46,  47.  Thus  it  behaved  Christ  to 
siiffer,  and  to  rise  from  the  dead  the  third  day :  and 
that  repentance  (which  is  conversion)  and  remission 
of  sins  should  be  preached  in  his  name  among  all 
nations.  And  Acts  v.  30,  31.  The  God  of  our  fathers 
raised  up  Jesus,  whom  ye  slew,  and  hanged  oh  a  tree; 
him  hath  God,  exalted  with  his  right-hand,  to  be  a 
Prince  and  a  Saviour,  for  to  give  repentance  to  Israel; 
and  forgiveness  of  sins.  ,  And  Acts  xiii.  38,  39.  Be' 
it  known  unto  you  therefore,  men  and  brethren.  That 
through  this  man  is  preached  unto  you Jhe  forgiveness 
of  sins :  and  by  him  all  that  believe  jare  justified  froni 
all  things,  from  which  you  could  not  be  justified  by 
the  law  of  Moses. '.  And  lest  you  think  this  offer  is 
restrained  to  the  Jews,  see  Gal.  vi.  15.  For  in  Christ 
Jesus ,  neither  circumcision  availeth  ■  cmy  thing,  nor 
unfiircumcisio^,  but  a  new  creature.  And  Luke  xiv. 
17.  Come,  for  all  things  are  now  ready; ' 

You  see  that  we  are  commanded  to  offer  life  unto 
you  all,  and  to  tell  you  from  God,  that  if  you  will 
turn^  you  may  &e. 

Here  you  may  safely  trust  your  souls;  for  the  love 
of  God  is  the  fountain  of  this  offer,*  and  the  blood  of 
the  Son  of  God  has  purchased  it;  the  faithfulness  and 
truth  of  God  are  engaged  to' make  the  promise  good; 
ilaimcles  have  sealed  the  truth  of  it;  preachers  are 
•  I     I    *  John  lii.  l6. 

56  A;  CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

sent  through  the  world  to  proclaim  it;  the  sacraments 
are  instituted  and  used  for  the  solemn  delivery  of 
the  merdy  offered  to  them  that  will  accept  it;  and  the 
Spirit  opens  the  heart  to  entertain  it,  and  is  itself 
the  earnest  of  the  full  possession.  So  that  the  truth 
of  it  is  past  controversy,  that  the  worst  of  you  all, 
and  every  one,  of  you,  if  you  will  but  be  converted, 
may  be  saved. 

Indeed,  if  you  believe  that  you  shall  be  saved 
without  conversiota,  then  you  believe  a  falsehood; 
and  if  I  should  preach  that  to  you,  I  should  preach 
a  lie:  this  were  not  to  believe  God,  but  the  devil  and 
your  own  deceitful  h6art§.>  God  has  his  promise  of 
life,  and  the  devil  has  his  promise  of  life.  God's 
promise  js,  return  and  live;  the  devil's  promise  is, 
you  shall  live  whether  you  turn  or  not.  The  works 
of  God  are,  as  I  have  shown  you.  Except  you  he 
converted,  and  become  as  little  children,  ye  shall  not 
enter  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven.*  Except  a  man 
be  born  s\£igain,  he  cannot  enter  into  the  kingdom 
of  God,'\  Without  hoUness,  none  shall  see  God.^ 
The  deviPs  word,  '  You  may  be  saved  without  being 
'  born  again  or  converted;  you  may  do  well  enough 
'  without  being  holy:  God  does  but  frighten  y<5u ;  he 
'  is  more  mefcifuJ  than  to  do  as  he  says;  he  will 
'  be  better  to  you  than  his  word;'  And,  alas,  the 
greatest;  I  part  of  the  world  believes  this  word  of  the 
dlevil,  before  the  word  of  Ood  !  just  as  our  first  sin 
and  misery  came  into  the  world.  God  said  to  our 
first  parents,:  If  ye  eat,  ye  shall  die.  And  the  devil 
contradicted  him,  and  said.  Ye  shall  not  die:  and  the 
woman  believed  him  before  God.  So  nowthe  Lord 
saith,  Turn  or  die:  and  the  devil  says,  You  shall  not 
die,  if  you  do  but  cry  to  God  for  mercy  at  last.    And 

*  Matt.  xiii.  3.     f  John  iii.  3.  5.     J  Heb.  xi).  14. 

A    CALL   TO    THE    UNCONVERTED,  67 

this  is  the  word  which  ihe  world  believes.    O  heinous 
wickedness,  to  believe  the  devil  before  God  ! 

And  yet,  that  is  not  the  worst;  but  blasphemously 
they  call  this  a  believing  and  trusting  God,  when  they 
put  him  in  the  shape  of  Satan,  who  was  a  liar  from 
the  beginning;  and  when  they  believe  that  the  word 
of  God  is'a  lie,  they  call  this  a  trusting  God,  and  say 
they  believe  in  him,  and  trust  in  him  for  salvation-. 
Where  did  ever  God  say,  thait  the  unconverted  shall 
be  saved?  Show  me  such  a  word  in  scripture.  1 
challenge  you,  if  ^ou  can.  ,  V^hy,  this  is  the  devil's 
word ;  arid  tc  believe  it,  is  to  believe  the  devil. 
And  do  you -call  this  believing,  arid  trusting  God? 
There  is  enough  in  the  word  of  God  to  comfort  and 
strengthen  the  hearts  of  the  sanctified;  but  not  a 
word  to  strengthen  the.  hands  of  wickedness,  or  to 
give  men  the  least  hope  of  being  saved,  though  they 
be  never  sanctified. 

But  if  you  will  tutn,  and  come  into  the  way  of 
mercy,  the  mercy  of  the  Lord  is  ready  to  entertain 
you.  Then  trust  God  for  salvation,  boldly  and  con- 
fidently;  for  he  is  engaged  by  his  word  to  save  you. 
He  will  be  a  father  to  none  but  his  children  ;  and  he 
will  save  none  but  those  that  forsake  the  world,  the 
devil,  and  the  flesh,  and  come  into  his  family  to  be 
members  of  his  Son,  and  have  communion  with  his 
saints.  But  if  they  will  not  come  in,  it  is  their  own 
fault ;  his  doors  are  open.  He  keeps  none  back  :  he 
never  sent  such  a  message  as  this  to  any  of  you — it  is 
now  too  late ;  I  will  not  receive  ye,  though  you  be 
converted:  He  is  still  ready  to  receive -you,  if  you! 
were  but  ready  unfeignedly,  and  with  all  your  hearts, 
to  turn.  And  the  fulness  of  this  truth  will  yet  more 
appear  in  the  two  following  doctrines. 


58  A    CALL    TO    THE    tTNGONVERtED. 


God  takes  pleasure  in  merHs  conversion,  and  salvation ; 
but  not  in  their  death  or  damnation:  he  had  rather 
they  would  turn  and  live;  than  go  on  and  die. 

I  SHALL  first  teach  you  hqw  to  understand  this, 
and  then  clear  up  the  truth  of  it  to  you  :  And  for  the 
first,  you  must  observe  the  following  things. 

1.  A  simple  willingness  or  complacency,  is  the  first 
act  of  -the  will  following  the  single  apprehension  of 
the  understanding,  before  it  proceeds  to  compare 
things  together;  but  the  choosing  act  of  the  will  Is  a 
following  act,  and  supposes  the  comparing  practical 
act  of  the  understanding:  and  these  two  acts  may 
often  be  carried  to  contrary  objects,  without  any 
fault  at  all  in  the  person. 

3.  An  unfeigned  willingness  may  have  divers  degrees. 
Some  things  I  atti  so  far  willing  of,  as  that  I  will  do 
all  that  lies  in  my  power  to  accomplish  them;  and 
some  things  I  am  truly  willing  another  should  do, 
when  yet  I  will  not  do  all  that  I  am  able  to  procure 
them,  having  many  reasons  to  dissuade  me  therefrom, 
though  yet  I  will  do  all  that  belongs  to  me  tp  do. 

3.  The  will  of  a  ruler,  as  sucli,  is  manifested  in 
making  and  executing  laws;  but  the  will  of  a  man, 
in  his  simple  natural  capacity,  or.  as  absolute  lord  of 
his  own,  is  manifested  in  desiring  or  resolving  of  events,  • 

4.  A  ruler's  will  as  lawgiver,  is  first  and  principally 
that  his  laws  be  obeyed,  and  not  at  all  that  the  penalty 
be  executed  on  any,  but  only  on  supposition  that 
they  will  not  obey  his  people;  but  a  ruler's  will,  as 
judge,  supposes  the  law  already  either  kept  or  broken, 
and  therefore  he  resolves  our  reward  or  punishment 

A    CALL   To    THE    UNCONVERTED.  59 

Having  given  you  those  necessary  distinctions, 
I  shall  next  apply  them  to  the  case  in  h^nd,  in  the 
following  propositions: 

1.  It  is  the  gloss  of  the  word  and  creatures,  that  in 
this  life  we  must  know  God ;  and  so  according  to  the 
nature  of  man  we  ascribe  to  him  u-tiderstanding  and 
will,  removing  all  the  imperfections  that  we  can, 
because  we  are  capable  of  no  higher  positive  con- 
ceptions of  hini. 

2.  And  on  the  same  grounds  we  do,  with  the 
scripture,  distinguishheivfeen  the  acts  of  God's  will, 
as  diversified  from  the  I'espects  or  the  objects,  though 
as  to  God's  e>s*ewce  they  are  all  one. 

3.  And  the  bolder,  because  that  when  we  speak  of 
Christ,  we  have  the  more  ground  for  it  from  his 
human  nature.  ,    :  ' 

4.  And  thus  we  say,  that  the  simple  complacency, 
will,  ov ,  love  of  God,  is  to  all  that  is  natmrally  or 
morally  good,  according'  to  the  nature  and  degree  of 
its  goodness;  and  so  he  has  pleasure  in  the  conversion 
and  salvation  of  all,  which  yet  will  never  come  to 
pass.        :  ■' 

5.  And  God,  as  Ruler  and  Lawgiver  of  the  world, 
had  so  far  a  practical  will  for  their  salvation,  as  to 
make  them  a  frete  deed  of  gift  of  Christ  and  Life, 
and  an  act  of  oblivion  for  all  their  sins,  if  so  be  they 
will  not  unthankfully  reject  it;  and  to  command  his 
messengers  to  offer  this  gift  to  all  the  world,  and 
persuade  them  to  accept  it.  And  so  he  does  all  that, 
as  Lawgiver  or  Promiser,  belongs  to  him  to  do  for 
their  salvation.  ^  i.i 

6.  But  yet  he  resolves,  as  Lcojogiuer,  that  they  that 
jVill  not  turn  shall  die;  and  as  Judge,  when  their 
day  of  grace  is  past,  be  will  execute  their  decree. 

7.  So  that  fee  thus  unfeignedly  wills  the  conversion 

60  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

of  those  that  never  vvill  be  converted;  but  not  as 
absolute  Lord  with  the  fullest  efficacious  resolution, 
nor  as  a  thing  which  he  resolves  shall  undoubtedly 
cqme  to  pass,  of  would  engage  aU  his  power  to 
accomplish.  It  is  in  the  power  of  a  prince  to  set  a 
guard  upoii  a  murderer,'  to  see  that  he  shall  not 
murder  and  be  hanged;  btit  if,  upon  good  reason,  he 
forbear  this,  and  do  but  send  to  his  subjects  to  warn 
and  ehtreat  them  not  to  be  murderers,  I  hope  he  may- 
well  say  that  he  would  not  have  them  murder,  and 
be  hanged:  he  takes  no  pleasure  in  it,  but  rather  that 
th(By  forbear  and  live;  and  if  he  do  tnore  for  some 
upon  some  special  reason,  he  is  not  bound  to  do  so 
by  all.  The  King  may  well  say  to  all  murderers  and 
felons  in  the  land,  "  4  have  no  pleasure  in  your  death, 
but  rather  that  you  would  obey  my  laws  and  live;  but 
if  you  will  not,  I  am  resolved,  for  all  this,  that  you 
shall  die."  The  Judge  may  truly  say  to  the  thief,  or 
a  murderer,  "  Alas,  man,  I  have  no^  delight  in  thy 
death ;  I  had  rather  thou  hadst  kept  the  law,  and 
saved  thy  life;  but  seeing  thou  hast  not,  I  must 
condemn  thee,  or  else  I  should  be  unjust."  So, 
though  God  have  no  pleasure  in  your  damnation,  and 
therefore  calls  upon  you  to  r<^turn  and  live,  yet  he 
has  pleasure  of  the  demonstration  of  his  own  justice, 
and  the  executing  his  laws;  and  therefore  he  is,  for 
all  this,  fully  resolved,  that  if  you  will  not  be  converted, 
yon  shall  be  condemned.  If  God  were  sd  much 
against  the  death  of  the  wicked,  as  that  he  wjere 
resolved  to  do  all  that  he  can  to  hinder  it,  then  no 
man  should  be  condemned;  whereas  Christ  tells  youj 
that  few  will  be  saved.  But  so  far  God  isagainst  your 
damnation,  as  that  he  vvill  teach  you,  and  warn  you, 
and  set  before  you  life  and  death,  and  offer  you  your 
choice,  and  command  his  ministers  to  entreat  you  not 


to  damn  yourselves,  but  accept  his  mercy,  and  so  to 
leave  you  without  excuse;  but  if  this  will  not  do, 
and  if  still  you  be  unconverted,  he  professes  to  you, 
he  is  resolved  on  your  damnation,  and  hath  com- 
manded us  to  say  to  you  in  his  name,  O  wicked  man, 
thou  shalt  surely  die!  And  Christ  hath  little  less  than 
sworn  it,  over  and  over,  with  a  verily,  verity,  except 
ye  be  converted,  and  horn  again,  ye  shall  not  enter 
into  the  kingdom  of  heaven.*  Mark  that  he  saith  ye 
shall  not.  It  is  in  yain  to  hope  for  it,  and  in  vain  to 
dream  that  God  is  willing  it  should  be  so;  for  it  is  a 
thing  that  cannot  be. 

In  a  word,  you  see  then  the  meaning  of  the  text, 
that  God,  the  great  Lawgiver  of  the  world,  takes  no 
pleasure  in  the  death  of  the  wicked,  but  rather  that 
they  turn  and  live;  though  yet  he  be  resolved 
that  none  shall  live  but  those  that  turn:  and  as  a 
Judge  even  delights  in  justice,  and  manifesting  his 
hatred  of  siuj  though  not,  in  their  misery  in  itself 
considered,  which  they  have  brought  upon  themselves. 

And  in  the  second  place,  for  the  proofs  of  the  point, 
I  shall  be  very  brief  in  them,  because  I  suppose  you 
easily  believe  it  already. 

1.  The  gracious  nature  of  God  has  proclaimed  and 
frequently  assured  you  of  this,' — that  he  has  no  plea-^ 
sure  in  your  death. 

2.  If  God  had  more  pleasure  in  thy  death  than  in 
thy  conversion  and  life,  he  would  not  have  so  fre- 
quently commanded  thee  in  his  word  to  turn ;  he 
would  not  have  made  thee  such  promises  of  life,  if 
thou  wilt  turn  ;  would  not  have  persuaded, thee  to  it 
by  so  many  reasons.  The  tenor  of  his  gospel  p(roves 
the  pojnt. 

3.  And  his  commission,  which  he  has  given  to  the 

*  Matt,  xviii.  3. 

62  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

ministers  of  the  gospel,  does  fully  prove  it.  If  God 
had  taken  more  pleasure  in  thy  damnation  than  in 
thy  conversion  and  salvation,  he  would  iiever  have 
charged  us  to  offer  you  imercy,  and  to  teach  you  the 
way  of  life,  both  publicly  and  privately ;  and  to 
entreat  and  beseech  you  to  turn  and  live:  to  acquaint 
you  with  your  sjns,  and  tell  you  of  your  danger ;  and 
to  do  all  that  possibly  we  can  for  your  conversion, 
and  to  continue  patiently  so  doing,  though  you  should 
hate  or  abuse  us  for  our  pains.  'Would  God  have 
done  this,  and  appointed  his  ordinances  for  your  good, 
if  he  had  taken  pleasure  in  your  death  ?• 

4.  It  is  proved  also  by  the  course  of  his  providence. 
If  God  had  rather  you  were  damned  than  saved,  he 
would  not  second  his  word  with  his  works,  and  entice 
you  by  his  daily  kindness,  and  give  you  all  the  mer- 
cies of  this  life,  which  are  his  means  to  lead  you  to 
repentance,*  anfl  bring  you  so  often  under  his  rod, 
to  fbrce  you  into  your  wits:  he  would  not  set  so 
many  examples  before  your  eyes ;  no,  nor  wait  on 
you  so  patiently  as  he  does  frbm  day  to  day,  and  year 
to  year.  These  are  not  signs  of  one  that  takes  pleasure 
in  your  death.  If  this  had  been  his  delight,  how 
easily  could  he.have  had  thee  long  ago  in  hell !  How 
oft,  before  this,  could  he  have  snatched  thee  away 
in  the  midst  of  thy  sins,  with  a  curse,  or  oath,  or 
lie  in  thy  mouth  !  When  thou  wast  last  in  thy  drunk- 
enness, or  deriding  the  ways  of  God,  how  easily,  could 
he  have  stopped  thy  breath,  and  made  thee  sober  in 
another  world !  Alas,  how  small  a  matter  is  it  for  the 
Almighty  to  rule  the  tongue  of  the  profanest  railer, 
and  tie  the  hands  of  the  most  malicious  persecutor,  or 
calm  the  fury  of  the  bitterest  of  his  enemies,  and 
make  them  know  they  are  but  worms!    If  he  did  but 

*  Rom.  ii.  4. 

A    CALL   TO    THE    UKGONVERTED.  63 

frown  upon  thee,  thou  wouldst  drop  into  the  grave. 
If  he  gave  commission  to  one  of  his  angels  to  go  and 
destroy  ten  thousand  sinners,  how  quickly  would  it 
be  done !  How  easily  can  he  lay  thee  upon  the  bed  of 
languishing,  and  make  thee  lie  roaring  there  in  pain, 
and  eat  the  words  of  reproach  which  thou  hast  spoken 
against  his  servants,  his  word,  his  worship,  and  his 
holy  ways  !  How  easily  can  he  lay  that  flesh  under 
groans,  and  make  it  more  Joathsome  than  the  dung 
of  the  earth  !  That  flesh,  which  now  must  have  what 
it  loves,  and  must  not  be  displeased,  though  God  be 
displeased ;  and  must  be  humoured'  in  meat  and 
drink,  and  clothed,  whatever  God  say  to  the  contrary; 
How  quickly  would  the  frown  of  God  consume  it ! 
When  thou  wast  passionately  defending  thy  sin,  and 
quarrelling  with  them  that  would  have  drawn  thee 
from  it,  and  pleading  for  the  works  of  darkness; 
how  easily  could  God  have  snatched  thee  away  in 
a  moment,  and  set  thee  before  his  dreadful  majesty, 
(vphere  thou  shouldst  see  ten  thousand  times  ten 
thousand  glorious  angels  waiting  on  his  throne,)  and 
have  asked  thee,  "  What  hast  thou  now  to  say  against 
thy  Creator,  his  truth,  his  servants,  or  his  holy  ways? 
Now  plead  thy  cause,  and  make  the  best  of  it  thou 
canst.  Now  what  canst  thou  say  in  excuse  for  thy 
sins  ?  Now  give  accoufat  of  thy  time,  and  of  all  the 
mercies  thou  hast  had."  O  how  thy  stubborn  heart 
would  have  melted,  and  thy  countenance  have  been 
appalkd,  and  thy  stout  words  turned  into  speechless 
silence,  or  dreadful  cries,  if  God  had  but  set  thee 
thus  at  his  bar,  and  pleaded  his  own  cause  with 
thee!  How  easily  can  he  at  any  time  say  to  thy 
guilty  soul,  Come  amay,  and  liv6  in  that  flesh  no 
more,  till  the  resurrection !  And  it  cannot  resist. 
A  word  of  his  mouth  would  take  off  the  poise  of  thy 

64  A    CALL    TO.  THE    UNCONVERIED'. 

pFesehtiife,'and  then  aU  thy  parts  and  powers  would 
stand  still.  And  if  he  were  to  say  to  thee,  Live  no 
longer,  or  live  in  hell ;  thou  couldst  not  disobey. 

But  God  has  done  none  of  this,  but  has  patiently 
forborne  thee,  and  mercifully  upheld  thee,  and  given 
thee  that  breath  which  thou  didst  breathe  out  against 
him,  and  given  thee  those"  mercies  which  thou  didst 
sacrifice  to  thy  flesh,  and  afforded  thee  that  provision' 
which  thou  spent  to  satisfy  thy  gVeedy  appetite :  he 
gave  thee  every  minute  of  that  time  which  thou  didst 
waste  in  idleness  or  drunkenness.  And  does  not  all 
this  patieboe  and  mercy  show  that  he  desires  not  thy  , 
<iamnation  ?  Can  the  candle  burn  without  the  oil  ? 
Can  your  houses  stand  without  the  earth  to  bear 
them  ? — as  well  as  you  can  live  an  hour  without  the 
support  of  God.  And  why  did  he  so  long  support 
thy  life,  but  to  see  when  thou  wouldst  think  of  the 
folly  of  thy  v<'ays,  and  return  and  live?  Will  any  man 
^purposely  put  arms  into  his  enemies'  hands  to  resist . 
him?  or  hold  a  candle  to  a  murderer  who  is  killing 
bis  children  ?  Surely  it  is  to  see  whether  thou  wilt 
at  last  return  and  live,  that  God  has  so  long  waited 
on  thee.  .  , 

5.  It  is  further  proved,  by  the  sufferings  of  his 
Son,  that  God  takes  no  pleasure  in  the  death  of  the 
wicked.  Would  he  have  ransomed  them  from  death 
at  so  dear  a  rate  ?  Would  he  have  astonished  angels 
and  men  at  his  condescension  ?  Would  God  have 
dwelt  in  flesh,  and  have  come  in  the  form  of  a 
servant,  and  have  lived  a  life  of  suffering,  and  died 
a  cursed  death  for  sinners,  if  he  had  taken  pleasure 
in  their  death  ?  Suppose  you  saw  him  praying,,  with 
the  drops  of  blood  trickling  from  him  instead,  of 
.sweat,  or  suffering  a  cursed  death,  upon  the  cross, 
and  pouring  out  his  soul  as  a  sacrifice  for  our  sins; 

A    CALL   TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.  65 

would  you  have  thought  these  the  signs  of  one  that 
delights  in  the  death  of  the  wicked  ?  If  you  had  seen 
and  heard  him  weeping  and  bemoaning  the  state  of 
disobedience  in  impenitent  people,  or  complaining' 
of  their  stubbornness,  as  Matt,  xxiii.  37.  O  Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem,  how  oft  would  I  have  gathered  thy  children 
together,  even  as  a  hen  gathereth  her  chickens  under 
her  wings,  and  ye  would  Ifiot !  Or  if  you  had  seen  and 
heard  him  on  the  cross,  praying  for  his  persecutors. 
Father,  forgive  them,  for  they  know  not  what  they  dot 
would  you  biave  suspected  that  he  had  delighted  in 
the  death  of  the  wicked ;  even  of  those  that  perish 
by  their  wilful  unbelief?  When  God  hath  so  loved, 
(not  only  loved,  but  so  loved,)  as  to  give  his  only 
begotten  Son,  that  whosoever  believeth  in  him,  (by  an 
effectual  faith,)  should  not  perish,  hut  have  everlasting 
life}  he  has  proved,  against  the  malice  of  men  and 
devils,  that  he  takes  no  pleasure  in  the  death  of  the 
wicked,  but  had  rather  that  they  would  turn  and  live. 
6.  Lastly,  If  all  this  will  not  satisfy  you,  take  his 
own  word,  who  knows  best  his  own  mind,  or  at  least 
believe  his  oath :  but  this  leads  me  to  the  fourth 


The  Lord  has  confirmed  to  us  hy  his  oath,  that  he 
has  no  pleasure  if  the  death  of  the  wicked,  but  had 
rather  that  he  should  turn  and  live ;  that  he  may 
leave  man  no  pretence  to  question  the  truth  of  it. 

If  you  dare  question  his  word,  I  hope  you  dare  not 
question  his  oath.  As  Christ  has  solemnly  protested 
that  the  unregenerate  and  unconverted  cannot  enter 
into  the  kingdom  of  heaven ;  so  God  has  sworn  that 



his  pleasure  is  not  in  tjieir  death,  but  in  th^if  QOD-^ 

version  and  lif^.     And  as  the  Apostle  says,  ^e.^eim% 

he  could  swear  l^y.  no  greater,  he  swave  %  hinf^^l^.. 

fbr  mm  verily  ^wea,v  by  the  greater;  md  «?*  oath  Jot 

cQnfirmaMon  is  to  tk^jn  an  &f,^ofaM  strife.    Whexeintr 

God,  willing  Tfwne  aifwidantly  to  show  trnfo-  ths  heirs 

of  promise  the  irmnntahilvby-  of  his  counsel^  cQV^rimii 

U  by  an  qath;  that  by  two  immutable  things ^  in  whi^ 

it  was  injipQssible.  for  God  to,  lie,  we  might  ^«fi€  « 

strong  consfilaiif^y  yih/o  have  ^ed  for  v^^t^  ^  luy, 

hold  on  the  Ju^e  set  b^ore  us :  which  hqj^e  we  hmQ  as 

an  anphqr  of  the  somI^  both  sure  an4  s^e^a^i^,*    If 

there  b^  any  man  vv;ho  tiannot  ce^i^oQiJt^;  ^hia  trut/hi 

with  the  doctrine  of  predestjinj^tion,^  on  the  actual 

damnation  of  the  wicked,  that  is  owing  to  his,  owft 

ignorance :  he  has,  no  pretence  left  to  deny  or  ques- 

tion  therefore' the  truth  of  the  point  in*  b^ad:  foe 

this  is  confirmed  by  the  oath  of  God,  3^4  thetefoj© 

must  not  be  distorted  to  reduce  it  to  ottbisr  poJAta; 

l?ut  doubtful  points  must  ijather  be  reduced!  to;  it,  and 

certain  tcuths  must  be  believed  to  agree  with  it,  thougb 

our  shallow  brains  hardly  discern  the  agreeuient. 


I  DO  now  en  treat  J;hee,  if  bhou  be  an  unconverted 
sinner,  who  hearest  these  words,  that  thpy  wouldst 
ponder  a-little  upon  the  foremen tioned  doctrines,  and 
bethink  thyself  awhile,  who  it  is  that  takes  pleasure 
in  thy  sin  and  damnation.  Certainly  it  is  not  Ggd ; 
he  has  sworn,  for  his  part,  that  he  takes  no  pleasure 
in  it.  And  I  know  it  is  not  the  pleasure-  of  UiM  that 
you  intend  in  it.  You  dare  not  say,  that  you  drink, 
and  swear,,  and  neglect  holy  duties,  and  quench  the 
*  Heb.  vi.  13.lQ-nl9. 

A    6Ar,L  to   THE   UNCONYERTKD.  6? 

motibns  of  the  Spirit,  to  please  God.  That  were  as 
if  you  should  reproach  the  prince,  and  break  his 
laws,  and  Seek  hi*  death,  and  say.  You  did  all  this  to 
please  hitn. 

Who  is  it  then  that  takes  pleasure  in  ybiir  sin  and 
death  ?     Not  dny  that  bear  the  image  of  God,  for 
they  must  be  like-minded  to  him..     God  ktiows,  it  is 
small  pleasure  to  your  faithful  teachers  to  see  you 
serve  yoUi*  deadly  enemy,  and  madly  venture  your 
eternal  state,  and  wjJfUIly  run  into  the  flames  of  hell. 
It  is  small  pleasure  to  them  tb  see  upon  ybii'r  souls  (in 
the  sad  effects)  such  blindness,  and  hard  heart6dness, 
and  tiarelesshess,  and  presuijnption ;  such  wilfulness  in 
evil,  and -sudh  unteachablehess  and  stiffniess  iagainst 
the  ways  Of  liffe  and  peace:  they  know  thes^  are  marks 
of  death  and  df  the  wrath  of  God,  and  they  know, 
froln  th^  wbfd  qf  Gbd,  vvhat  is  likely  tb  be  the  end  of 
them,  and  thet^fore  it  is  ho  more  pleasure  to  them, 
than  td  §i  teiidfer  physician  to  see  the  plague-marks 
htake  out  Upon  his  jiatient.     Alas,  to  fof-esee  your 
everlasting  {dftiieflts,  aijd  khbw  not  how  to  pteverit 
thefti !     To  sed  ho<<r  tiear  you  are  to  Hell,  s(nd  we 
G'atinot  cftakfe  you  BelieVe  it  slnd  consider  it !    To  see 
hovi^  easily,  how  efertainly  yoU  might  escape,  if  we 
knew  but  hew  to  niake  you  willing  !    How  fair  you 
are  for  everlasting  Salvation,  if  yoU  would  but  turn 
and  do  your  best,  and~make  it  the  care  and  business 
of  ybur  lives!    We  study  day  and  night  what  to  say 
to  you,  that  may  convince  you  and  persuade  you, 
and  yet  it  is  undone :  we  Uy  before  you  the  word 
of  Gerfy  arid  show  you  the  very  chatpter  and  verse 
where  it  ife  written,  that  you  cannot  be  saved  except 
you  be  Converted ;  4ftd  yfet  vVe  leave  the  most  of  you 
as  we  fiAd  ybtii    We  hope  you  will  believe  the  word 
of  Gody  though  you  believe  not  ts,  and  r^afd  it  when 

08  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

we  show  you  the  plain  scripture  for  it ;  but  we  hope 

in  vain,  and  labour  in  vain  as  to  any  saving  change 

upon  your  hearts.     And  do  you  think  that; this  is  a 

pleasant  thing  to  us:  many  a  time  in  secret  prayer, 

we   are  fain  to  complain   to  God  with  sad  hearts, 

'  Alas,  Lord,  we  hgve  spoken  it  to  them  in  thy  name, 

but  they  little  regard  us:  we  have'  told  them  what 

thpy  bid  us  tell  them  concerning  the  danger  of  an 

unconverted  state,  but  they  do  not  believe  us:  we 

have  told  them  that  thou  hast  protested  that  there  is  no 

peace  to  the  wicked,*  but  the  worst  of  them  all  will 

scarce  believe  that  they  are  wicked:  we  have  showed 

them  thy  word,  where  thou  haSt  said,  that  if  they  live 

after  the  Jlesh,  they  shall  die;^  but  they  say,  they 

will  believe  in  thee  when  they  will  not  believe  thee, 

and  that  they  will  trust'in' thee  when  they  give  no 

credi|;  to  thy  word;   and  when  they  hope  that; the 

threaten ings, of  thy  word  are  false,  they  will  yeit  call 

this  a  hoping  in  God:  and  though  we  ^how  them 

\vhere  thou  hast  said,  that  when  a  wicked  man  dieth, 

all  his  hopes  perish,^  yet  cannot  we  persuade  them 

from  their  deceitful  hopes.     We  tell  them  what  a 

base  unprofitable  thing  sin  is;  but  they  love  it,  and 

therefore  will  not  leave  it.     We  tell  them  how  dear 

they  buy  this  pleasure,  and  what  they  must  pay  for 

it  in  everlasting  torment,  and  they  bless  themselves 

and  will  not  believe  it ;  and  because  God  is  merciful, 

they  will  not  believe  him,  but  will  venture  their  souls, 

come  on  it  what  will.     We  tell  them  how  ready  the 

Lord  is  to  receive  them,  andthisonly  makes  them  delay 

their  repentance,  and  be  bolder  in  their  sin.    Some  of 

them  say  they  purpose  to  repent,  but  they  are  still  the 

same ;  and  some  say  they  do  repent  already,  while 

yet  they  are  not  converted  from   their  sins.      We 

*  Is3.  xlviii.  2.  and  Ivii.  31.     f  Jlom.  viii,  13.  .  +  Prov.  xi.  7. 

^  A. CALL   TO    THE   UNCONVERTED.  69 

exhort  them,  we  entreat  them,  we  offer  them  our 
help,  but  we  caunot  prevail  with  them:  they  that 
were  drunkards,  are  drunkards  still-;  they  that  were 
voluptuous  flesh-pleasing  wretches,  are  such  still; 
and  they  that  were  worldlings,  are  worldlings  still ;  and 
they  that  were  igndrant,  and  proud,  and  self-conceited, 
are  so  still.  Few  of  them  will  see  and  confess  their 
sin,  and  fewer  will  forsake  it,  but  comfort  themselves 
that  all  men  are  sinners,  as  if  there  were  no  diflFerence 
between  a  converted  and  an  unconverted  sinner : 
Some  of  them  will  not  come  near  us,  when  we  are 
willing  to  instruct' them,  but  say  they  know  enough 
already,  and  need  not  our  instruction ;  and  some  of 
them  will  give  us  the  hearing,  and  do  what  they 
please;  and  most  of  them  are  like  dead  men  that 
cannot  feel :  so  that  when  we  tell  them  of  the  matters 
of  everlasting  consequence,  we  cannot  get  a  word  of  it 
to  their  hearts.  If  we  do  not' obey  them,  and  humour 
them  in  baptizing  the  children  of  the  most  obstinately 
wicked,  and  giving  them  the  Lord's  Supper,  and 
doing  all  that  they  would  have  us,  though  never  so 
much  against  the  word  of  .God,  they  will  hate  us, 
and  rail  at  us;  but  if  we  beseech  them  to  confess,  and 
forsake  their  sin,  and  save  their  souls,  they  will  not 
do  it.  We  tell  them,  if  they  will  but  turn,  we  will 
deny  them  none  of  the  ordinances  of  God;  neither 
baptism  to  their  children,  nor  the  Lord's  Supper  to 
themselves,  but  they  will  not  hear  us.  They  would 
have  us  to  disobey  God,  and  daniin  our  own  souls, 
to  please  them  ;  and  yet  they  will  not  turn  and:  save 
their  own  souls,  to  please  God.  They  are  wiser  in 
their  own  eyes  than  all  their  teachers ;  they  rage,  and 
are  confident  in  their  own  way,  and  we  cannot  change 
them.  Lord,  this  is  the  case  of  our  miserable 
neighbours,  and  we  cannot  help  it.    We  see  them 

70  A    CILL    TO    THE   UNCONVERTBD* 

ready  to  drop  into  hell,  and  we  cannot  help  it.  We 
know  if  they  would  unfeignedly  turn,  they  tnight  be 
saved,  but  we  cannot  persuade  them  {  if  we  would 
beg  it  of  them  on  our  knees,  we  cannot  persuade 
them  to  it;  if  we  would  beg  it  of  them  with  tears,  we 
cannot  persuade  them  ;  and  what  more  can  we. do?' 

These  are  the  secret  complaiiits  and  moans  that 
many  a  poor  minister  is  fain  to  make.  And  ^^o  you 
think  that  he  has  any  pleasure  in  this  ?  Is  it  a  pleasure 
to  him  to  see  you  go  on  in  sin,  and  cannot  stop  you? 
To  see  you  so  miserable,  and  cannot  so  much  as  make 
you  sensible  of  it?  To  see  you  merry,  when  you  are 
not  sure  to  be  an  hour  out  of  hell  ?  To  think  whAt 
you  must  for  ever  suffer,  because  you  will  not  turn  ) 
land  to  think  what  an  everlasting  life  of  glory  yort 
VrilfuUy  despise  and  cast  away  ?  What  sadder  thing 
can  you  briilg  to  their  hearts,  and  how  can  you  devise 
to  grieve  them  more  ? 

Who  is  it  then  that  you  please  by  your  sin  and 
death  ?  It  is  none  of  your  understanding,  godly  friends. 
Alas,  it  is  the  grief  of  their  souls  to  see  your  misery; 
and  they  lament  you  inany  a  time  when  you  give 
ihejn  little  thanks  for.  it,  and  when  you  have  not 
hearts  to  lament  yourselves. 

Who  is  it  then  that  takes  pleasure  in  your, sin  ?  It 
is  none  but  three  great  enemies  of  God,  whom  you 
renounced  in  your  bscptism,  dnd  now  are  turned 
falsely  to  serve. 

1.  Tlie  devil  indeed  takes  pleasure  in  yoar  sin  and 
death:  for  this  is  the  very  end  of  all  his  temptations  j 
for  this  he  watches  night  and  day;  yod  cannot  devise 
to  please  him  better  than  to  go  on  in  sin :  How  glad 
is  he  when  he  sees  thee  going  into  the  alehouse,  or 
other  sia,  and  when  he  heareth  thee  curse,  or  swears 
OJE-rail !    H©\)v  glad  is '  he  when  he  heareth  thee:  revije 

A    CAtL   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED.  71 

the  minister  that  would  draw  thee  from  thy  sin,  and 
help  to  save  thee !    These  are  his  delight, 

2,  The  wicked  are  also  delighted  in  it,  for  it  is 
agreeable  to  their  nature. 

3.  But  1  know,  for  all  this,  that  it  is  not  the  pleasing 
of  the  devil  that  you  intend,  even  when,  you  please 
hiro.;  but  it  is  your  own  flesh,— the  gi"eatest  and  most 
dangerQU«  eoienay,  that  you  intend  to  please.     It  is 
the  flesh  that  would  be  pampered,  that  would  be 
pleased  in.  meat  and  drink  and  clothing ;  that  would! 
'be  pleased  in.  your  company,  and  pleased  in  applause 
Aod  credit  with  the  world,  and  pleased  in  sports  and 
Itutsts  and  idleness:  this  is  the  gulf  that  devoureth  all; 
this  iis  the  very  god  that  you  serve,  for  the  seripture 
says  of  such,  that  their  helity  is  their  god.*    But  f 
beseech  you  stay  a  little,  and  consider  the  business. 

Quest.  1.  Should  your  flesh  be  pleased  before  your 
Maker?  Will  you  displease  the  Lords  and  displease 
your  teacher,  and  your  godly  friends;  and  all  to 
please  your  brutish  appetites,  or  sensual  desires  ?  I? 
opt  God  worthy  to  be  the  ruler  of  your  flesh  ?  If  he 
shall  not  rule  it,  he  will  not  save  it ;  you  cannot  in 
reason  expect  that  he  should. 

Quest.  2.  Your  flesh  is  pleased  with  yoiir  sin; 
but  is  yoar  conscience  pleased  ?  Does- not  it  grudge 
within  you,  and  tell  you  sometimes  that  all  is  not 
well,  and  that  your  case  is  not  so  safe  as  you  make 
it  to  be;  and  should  not  your  souls  and  consciences 
be  pleased  befbre  that  corruptible  flesh  ? 

Quest.  3,  But  is  not  your  flesh  preparing  for  its 
own  pain  also?  It  loves  the  bait,  but  does  it  love  the 
hook  ?  It  loves  the  strong  drink  and  sweet  morsels  ; 
it  loves  its  ease,  and  sports  and  merriment ;  it  loves  to 
be  rich,  and  well  spoken  of  by  men,  and  to  be  some- 

*  Phil.  iii.  19. 

73  A    CALr.    TO    THE    UNCONVERTKD- 

body  in  the  world;  but  does  it  love  the  curse  of  God? 
Does  it  love  to  stand 'trembling  before  his  bar,  and 
to  be  judged  to  everlasting  fire  ?  Does  it  love  to  be 
tormented  w^ith  the  devils  for  ever?  Take  all  together; 
for  there  is  no  separating  sin  and  bell,  but  only  by 
faith  and  true  conversion  :■  if  you  will  keep  one,  you 
must  have  the  other.  If  death  and  hell  be  pleasant 
to  thee,  no  wonder  then  if  you  go  on  in  sin :  but  if 
they  be  not,  then  what  if  sin  were  ever  so  pleasant, 
is  it  worth  the  lo$s  of  life  eternal  ?  Is  a  little  drink, 
or  meat,  or  ease ;  is  the  good  word  of  sinners,  or  the 
riches  of  this  world,  to  be  valued  above  the  joys  of 
heaven  ?  Or  are  they  worth  the  sufferings  of  eternal 
fire }  Sirs,  these  questions  should  be  considered 
before  you  go  any  further,  by  every  man  that  has 
reason  to  consider,  and  that  believes  he  has  a  soul  to 
save  or  lose. 

Well,  the  Lord  here  sweareth  that  he  hath  no 
pleasure  in  your  death,  but  rather  that  you  would' 
turn  and  live;  if  yet  you  will  go  on  and  die  rather 
than  turn,  remember  it  was  not  to  please,  God  that 
you  did  it ;  it  was  to  please  the  world,  and  to  please 
yourselves.  And  if  men  will  damn  themselves  to 
please  themselves,  and  run  into  endless  torments  for 
delight;  and  have  not  the  wit,  the  heart,  the  grace, 
to  hearken  to  God  or  man,  that  would  reclaim  them, 
what  remedy  but  they  must  take  what  they  get  by  it, 
and  repent  it  in  another  manner,  when  it  is  too  late  ! 
Before  I  proceed  any  further  in  the  application,  I  shall 
come  to  the  next  doctrine ;  which  gives  me  a  fuller 
ground  for  it. 

A    CALL   10    THE    UNCONVERTED.  73 


So  earnest  is  God  Jbr  the  conversion  of  sinners,  that 
he  doubles  his  commands  and  exhortations  with 
vehemency, — Turn  ye,  turn  ye;  why  will  ye  dieP 

This  doctrine  is  the  application  of  the  former,  as  by 
a  use  of  exhortation,  and  accordingly  I  shall  handle 
it.     Is  there  ever  an  uncbnverted  sinner  that  hears 
these  vehement  words  of  God  ?    Is  there  ever  a  man 
or  woman  that  is  yet  a  stranger  to  the  renewing, 
sanctifying  work,  of  the  Holy  Ghost  ?    Hearken  then 
to  the  voice  of  your  Maker,  and  turn  to  him  by  Christ 
without  delay.     Would  you  know  the  will  of  God  ? 
Why  this  is  "his  v<^ill,  that  you  presently  turn.     Shall* 
the  living  God  send   so  earnest  a  message   to  his 
creatures,  and  should  they  not  obey  ?    Hearken  then, 
all  ye  that  live  after  the  flesh:  the  Lord  thatgavt 
thee  thy  breath,  hath  sent  a  message  to  thee  from 
heaven  ;  and  this  is  his  message.  Turn  ye,  tmrn.  ye;, 
why  will  ye  die?    He  that  hath  ears  to  hear,  let  him 
hear.      Shall   the  voice  of  the  eternal  Majesty  be 
ileglected  ?    If  he  do  but  terribly  thunder)  thou  art 
afraid.     O,  but  this  voice  does  more  nearly  concern 
tWfte.     If  he  did  but  tell  thefe,  thou  shalt  die  to-mor- 
row, thoU  wbuldest  not  make  light  of  it.     O  but  this 
word  cbncerns  thy  life,  or  death  everlasting.     It  is 
both  a  command  and  an  exhortation.     As  if  he  had 
sfeid  to  thee,    "  I  charge  thee  upon  the  allegiance 
which  thou  owest  to  me  thy  Creator  and  Hedeemer-^ 
that  thou  renounce  the  flesh,  the  world,  and  the  devil, 
and  turn  to  me,  that  thou  mayest  live.     I  condescend 
to  entreat  thee,  as  thou  either  lovest  or  fearest  him 
that  made  thee;  as  thou  lovest  thine  own  life,  even 
thine  everlasting  life,  Turn  and  hve ;  as  ever  thou 


74  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

wouldest  escape  eternal  misery.  Turn,  turn ;  for  why 
wilt  thou  die?'^  And  is  there  a  heart  in  man,  in  a 
reasonable  creature,  that  can  refuse  such  a  message, 
such  a  command,  such  an  exhortation  as  this  ?  O 
whdt  a  thing  then  is  the  heart'of  man  ! 

Hearken  then,  all  that  love  yourselves,  and  all 
that  regard  your  own  salvation  :  here  is  the  joyfullest 
message  that  ever  was  sent  to  the  ears  of  man,  Turn 
ye,  turn  ye;  why  will  ye  die?  You  are  not  yet  shut 
up  under  desperation.  Here  is^  mercy  oflFered  you  : 
turn,  and  you  shall  have  it.  With  what  joy  should 
you  receive  these  tidings !  I  know  this  is  not  the  first 
time  that  you  have  heard  them:  but  how  haye  you 
regarded  them,  or  how  do  you  regard  them  npvv  ? 
Hear,  all  ye  ignorant,  careless  sinners,  the  word  of  the 
Lord !  Hear,  all  ye  gluttons,  drunkards,  whoremongers 
and  swearers,  railers  and  backbiters,  slanderer^  and 
liars, — Turn  ye,  turn  ye;  why  will  ye, die? 

Hear,  all  ye  cold  and  outside  professors,  all  that 
are  strangers  to  the  life  of  Christ,  and  never  knew 
the  power  of  his  cross  and  resurrection,  never  felt 
your  hearts  warmed  with -bis  love, — Turn  ye;  why 
mil  ye  die  ? 

Hear,  all  that  are  void  of  the  love  of  God,  whose 
hearts  are  not  towards  him,  nor  taken,  up  with  ,^e 
hopes  of  glory,  but  set  more  on  earthly  prosperity.  a,nd 
delightS'than  on  the  joys  of  heaven:  all  you  that  are 
religious  but  by-the-bye,  and  give  God  no  more  than 
the  flesh  can  spare ;  that  have  not  denied  yourselves, 
and  forsaken  all  that  you  have  for  Christ ;  hut  have 
some  one  thing  in  the  world  so  dear  to  you,  that  you 
cannot  spare  it  for  him,  but  will  rather  venture  on  his 
displeasure  than  forsake  it,. — Turn  ye,  turn  ye ;  why 
will  ye  die  ? 

If  you    never  heard   it,    or  observed    it  before,  , 


reroember  that  you  were  told  from  the  word  of  God 
this  day,  that  if  you  will  but  turn,  you  may  live;  and, 
if  you  will  not  turn,  you  shall  surely  die.  ' 

What  now  will  you  do  ?  What  is  your  resolution  ? 
Will  you  turn,  or  will  you  not?  Halt  no  longer 
between  two  opinions.  If  the  Lord  be  God,  follow 
him :  if  your  flesh  be  Qod,  then  serve  it  still.  If 
heaven  be  better  than  earth,  come  away  and  seek  a 
better  country,  and  lay  up  your  treasure  where  rust 
and  moth  do  not  corrupt,  or  thieves  bteak  through  andv 
steal ;  and,  with  all  your  might,  seek  the  kingdom 
that  cannot  be  moved :  employ  your  lives  on  a  higher 
design,  and  turn  the  stream  of  your  cares  and  labours 
another  way  than  formerly  you  have  dene.  But  if 
earth  be  better  than  heaven,  or  will  do 'more  for  you, 
or  last  you  longer,  then  keep  it  and  make  your  best 
of  it,  and  follow  it  still.  Are  you  resolved  what  to  do? 
If  you  be  not,  I  will  set  a  few  more  considerations 
before  you. 

Consider,  first,  what  preparations  mercy  has  made 
for  your  sahatmn :  and  what  pity  it  is  that  any  man 
should  be  damned  after  all  this !  God  has  made  to 
thee  a  free  act  of  oblivion,  and  a  free  deed  of  gift  of 
Christ  and  life,  and  offers  it  to  thee,  and  entreats  thee 
to  accept  it ; ;  and  it  may  be  thine,  if  thou  wilt.  For 
be  was  in  Christ  reconciling  the  world  unto  himself, 
and  hath  committed  unto  us  the  word  of  reoonciliation. 
Sinners,  we  are  comma-nded  to  deliver  this  message 
to  you  all,  as  from  the  Lord,  Come,  for  all  things 
are  now  ready.*  Are  all  things  ready,  and  are  you 
.unready  ?  God  is  readyr  to  pardon  all  that  you  have 
done  against  him,  if  you  will  but  come.  As  long 
as  you  have  sinn€di  as  wilfully  as  you  have  sinned,  as 
iheinoHsly  as  you  have  sinned,  he  is  ready  to.  cast  all 
*  Luke  xJv.  17. 


behind  his  backy  if  you  will  but  come.  Though 
you  have  been  prodigals,  and  run  aWay  from  God < 
and  have  staid  so  long,  he  is  ready  to  meet  you,  and 
embrace  you  Jn  his  arms,  if  you  will  but  turn.  Even 
the  earthly  worldling,  the  swinish  drunkard  may  find 
God  ready  to  bid.  them  welcome,  if  they  will  but 
coriie.  :  Does  not  this  turn  thy  heart  within  thee? 
0  sinner,  if  thou  have  a  heart  of  flesh,  and  not  of 
stone,  methinks  this  should  melt  it.  Shall  the 
dreadful  infinite  Majissty  of  heaven  wait. for  thy 
returning,  and  be  ready  to  receive  thee,  who  hast 
abused  him,  and  forgotten  him  so  long?  Shall  he 
delight  in  thy  conversion,  who  might  at  any  time 
glorify  his  justice  in  thy  damnation  ;  and  yet  does  it 
not  melt  thy  heart  within  thee,  and  art  thou  not  yet 
ready  to  come  in  ?  Hast  thou  not  as  much  reason  to 
be  ready  to  come,  as  God  has  to  invite  thee  and  bid 
thee  welcome?     .  i  - 

But  this  is  not  all ;  Christ  has  done  his  part  upon 
the  cross,  and  made  such  way  for  thee  to  the  Father, 
that  on  his  account  thou  mayest  be  welcome  if  thou 
wilt  come.     And  yet  art  thou  not  ready  ? 

A  pardon  is  already  expressly  granted,  and  offered 
thee  in  the  gospel.     And  yet  art  thou  not  ready  ? 

The  ministers  of  the  gospel  are  ready  to  assist  thee, 
to  instruct  thee,  and  pronounce  ipe&ce  to  thy  soul; 
they  are  ready  to  pray  for  thee,  and  to  seal  thy  pardon 
by  the  administration  of  the  holy  sacrament.  And 
yet  art  thou  not  ready  ? 

Yea,  heaven  itself  is  ready:  the  Lord  will  receive 
thee  into  th^  glory  of  the  saints,  as  vile  a  beast  as 
thou  hast  been,  if  thou  wilt  be  but  cleansed :  thou 
mayest  have  a  place  before  his  throne;  his  angels  will 
be  ready  to  guard  thy  soul  to  the  place  of  joy,  if  thou 
do  but  unfeignedly  come  in.     And  is  God  ready',  the 

A    CAlt   TO   THE   UNCOKVERTED.  77 


sacrifice  oj  Christ  ready j  and  par^n  ready?  Are 
ministers  readyi' and  hemen  itsejf  ready,  and  angels 
rea^,  and  all. these  waiting  for  thy  conversion;  and 
yet  art  thou  not  ready  ? ,  What!  not  ready  to  live, 
when  thou  bast  been  dead  so  long?  Not  ready  to 
come  to  thy  right  understanding,  when  thou  hast 
been  beside  .thyself  so  long?  Art  thou  not  ready  to 
lay  hold  on  Chriat,  who  would  deliver  thee,  when 
thou  art  even  ready  to  drown,  and  sink  into. damna- 
tion? Art  thou  not  ready  to  be  saved  from  hell, 
when  thou  art  ready  to  be  cast  into, it  ?  Alas,  man  ! 
dost  thou  not  know  what  thou  doest  ?  If  thou  die 
unconverted,  there  is  no  doubt  to  be  made  of  thy 
damnation;  and  thou  art  not  sure  to  live  an  hour: 
and  yet  art  thou  not  ready  to  turn,  and  to  come  in? 
O  miserable  wretch !  hast  thou  not  served  the  flesh 
and  the  devil  long  enough  ?  Hast  thou  not  yet 
enough  of  sin  ?  Is  it  so  good  to  thee,  or  so  profitable 
for  thee?  Dost  thou  know  what  it  is,  that  thou 
vvouldst  yet  have  more  of  it  ?  Hast  thou  had  so  many 
calls,  and  so  many  mercies,  and  $o  many  blows,  and 
so  many  examples;  hast  thou  seen  so  many  laid  in 
the  grave ;  and  yet  art  thou  not  ready  to  let  go  thy 
sins,  and  come  to  Christ  ?  What !  after  so  many  con- 
victions and  gripes  of  conscience,  after  so  many 
purposes  and  promises,  art  thou  not  yet  ready  to  turn 
and  live  ?  O  that  thy  eyes,  thy  heart,  were  opened 
to  knovir  how  fair  an  offer  is  now  made  to  thee  !  and 
what  a  joyful  message  it  is  that  we  are  sent  on,  to 
bid  thee  c6me,  for  all  things  are  ready  ! 

2.  Consider  also  what  calls  thou  hast  to  turn  and 
live.  How  many,  how  loud,  how  earnest,  how  dread- 
ful, and  yet  what  encouraging,  joyful  calls ! 

For  the  principal  inyiter,  it  is  God  himself.  He 
th^t  commands  heaven  and  earth,  commands  thee  to 

7S  A   CAtL    TO    THE    TjNCONVERT'fiD. 

turn,  and  now  without  delay  to  tiirn  :  he  commands 
the  siin  To  run  its  course,  and  to  rise  upon  thee  every 
morning;  and  though  it  is  so  glorious  a  creaturiej 
yet  it  obeys  him,  and  fails  not  one  minute  of  its 
appointed  time.  He  commands  all  the  planets  and 
orbs  of  heaven,  and  they  obey:  he  comlnands  the 
sea  to  ebb  and  flow,  and  the  whole  creation  to  keep' 
its  course,  and  all  obey  him :  the  angels  of  heaven  obey 
his  will,  when  he  sends  them  to  minister  to  such  silly 
worms  as  we  on  earth.  And  yet  if  he  commands 
but  a  sinner  to  turn,  he  will  not  obey  him:  he  only 
thinks  himself  wiser  than  God,  and  he  cavils  and  will 
not  obey. 

If  thou  hadst  any  love  in  thee,  thou  wouldst  Jcnow 
the  voice,  and  say,  O  this  is  my  Father's  colli  how 
<:an  I  find  in  my  heart. to  disobey?  If  thou  hadst  any 
sense  in  thee,  at  least  thou  wouldst  say,  This  call  is 
the  dreadful  voice  of  God,  and  who  dare  disobey  ? 
God  is  not  a  man,  that  thou  shouldst  trifle  and  play 
with  him :  wilt  thou  yet  go  on  and  despise  his  word, 
and  resist  his  Spirit,  and  stop  thine  ear  against  his 
call  ?  Who  is  it  that  will  have  the  w"brst  of  this  ?  Dost 
thou -know  whom  thou  disobeyest  and  contendest 
with  ;  "and  what  art  thou  doing  ?  It  were  a  iPar  wiser 
and  easier  task  for  thee  to  contend  with  the  thorns,  and 
spurn  them  with  thy  bare  feet,  and  beat  them  with 
thy  bare  hands,  or  put  thy  head  into  the  burning  fire. 
Be  not  deceivedy.God  will  not  he  mocked.*  Whoever 
else  be  mocked,  God  will  not ;  you  had  better  play 
with  the  fire  in  your  thatch,  than  with  the  fire  of  his 
burning  wrath  ;  for  our  God  is  a  eohsum,ing  fire.'\ 
O  how  unmeet  a  match  art  thou  for  God!  It, is  a 
fearful  thing  to  fall  into  his  hands ; J  and  therefore 
it  is  a  fearful  thing  to  contend  with  him,  or  to  resist 
*  Gal.  vi.  7.  t  Heb.  xii.  29.  J  Heb.  x.  31, 

A    CALL   To   THE   UNCONVERTED.  79 

him.  Asi  ypu  love  your  own  souls,  take  heed  what 
you  do,  ^hat  will  you  say,  if  he  begin  in  wrath  to 
plead  with  you  ^  What  will  you  do,  if  he  taise  you 
once  in  iiand  ?  Will  you  then  strive  against  his 
judgment,  as  now  ye  do  against  his  grace  ?  Who 
woul^  set  the  briars  and  thorns  agtiinst  me  in  battle  ? 
I  would  go  through  them,  I  would  btirn  them  together. 
Or  let  him  take  hold  of  my  strength,  that  he  may 
makepeace  with  me,  and  he  shall  make  peace  with  me. 
It  is  an  unequal  cogibat  for  the  briars  and  stubble  to 
make  war  with  the  fire. 

You  see  who  it  is  that  calls  you.  Consider  also  by 
what  instruments,  and  how  often  and  how  earnestly 
he  does  it. 

1  Every  leaf  of  the  blessed  book  of  God  has  as  it 
were  a  voice,  and  calls  out.  Turn  and  live ;  turn,  or 
thou  wilt  die.  How  canst  thou  open  it,  or  read  a 
leaf,  or  hear  a  chapter,  and  not  perceive  God  bids 
tl;iee  turn  ? 

2.  It  is  the  voice  of  every  sermon  that  thou  hearest: 
for  what  else  is  the  scope  and  drift  of  all,  but  to  call 
and  persuade,  and  entreat  thee  to  turn. 

3.  It  is  the  voice  of  many  a  motion  of  the  Spirit 
that  secretly  speaks  over  these  words  again,  and 
urgeth  thee  to  turns  > 

4.  It  is  likely  sometime  it  is  the  voice  of  thy  own 
conscience.  Artjhou  not  sometimes  convinced  that 
all  is  not  well  with  thee?  And  doth  not  thy  conscience 
tell  thee  that  thou  must  be  a  new  man,  and  tak6  a 
new  course,  and  often  call  upon  thee  to  return  ? 

5.  It  is  the  voice  of  the  gracious  examples  of  the 
godly:  When  thou  seest  them  live  an  heavenly  life, 
and  fly  from  the  sin  which  is  thy  delight,  this  really 
calls  upon  thee  to  turn. 

6.  It  is  the  voice  of  all  the  works  of  God :  for  they 

80  A    CALL    TO    TriE    UNCONVERTED. 

also  are  God's  books  that  teach  thfee  this  lesson,  by 
showing  thee  his  greatnesis  aind  wisdom,  and  goodt^ess, 
and  calling  thee  to  observe  them,  and  admire  the 
Creator.  The  heavefli''Ueclare  the  glory  of  God,  and 
the  firmament  shavoeth  his  handy^work :  Day  unto 
day  uftereth  speech :  Night  unto  night  showeth  know' 
ledge.*  Every  time  the  sun  riseth  upon  thee,  it 
teaUy  calleth  thee  to  turn,  as  if  it  should  say,  What  do 
I  travel  and  compass  the  world  for,  but  to  declare  to 
men  the  glory  of  their  Maker,  and  to  light  them 
to  do  his  work  ?  And  do  I  still  find  thee  doing  the 
work  of  sin,  and  sleeping  out  thy  life  in  negligence? 
Awake  thou  that  sleepest,  and  arise  frovH  the  dead, 
and  Christ  shall  give  thee  light. ■\  The  night  is  far 
spent,  the  day  is  at  hand:  It  is  now  high  time  to 
awake  out  of  sleep :  Let  us  therefore  cast  off"  the  works 
of  darkness,  and  let  lis  put  on  the  armour  6f  light. 
Let  us  walk  honestly,  as  in  the  day ;  not  in  rioting 
and  drunkenness,,  not  in  chambering  and  wantonness, 
not  in  strife  and  envying:  but  put  ye  on  the  Lord 
Jestis  Christ,  and  make  not  provision  for  thefiesh,  to 
fulfil  the  lusts  thereof  %  This  text  was  the  means  of 
Austin's  conversion ! 

7.  It  is  the  voice  of  every  mercy  thou  dost  possess; 
if  thou  couldst  but  hear  and  understand  them,  they 
all  cry  out  unto  thee,  turn.  Why  does  the  earth  bear 
thee,  but  to  seek  and  serve  the  Lord  ?  Why  does  it 
aflFord  thee  its  fruits,  but  to  serve  him?  Why  does 
the  air  afford  thee  breath,  but  to  serve  him?  Why 
does  all  the  creatures  serve  thee  with  their  labours 
and  their  lives,  but  that  thou  mightest  serve  the  Lord 
of  them  and  thee?  Why  does  he  give  thee  time,  and 
health,  and  strength,  but  for  to  serve  him?  Why  hast 
thou  meat,  and  drink,  and  clothes,  but  for  his  service? 
*  Psal,  xix.  12.  t  Eph.  v.  14.  Rom.  xiii.  11—14. 


Hast  thou  any  thing  which  thou  hast  not  received; 
and  if  thou  didst  rreceive  them,  it  is  reason  thtm 
shouldst  bethink  thee,  from  whom,  and  to  what  end 
and  use  thou  didst  receive  them?  Didst  thou  never 
cry  to  him  for  help  in  thy  distress ;  and  didst  thou 
not  then  u-nderstand  that  it  was  thy  part  to  turn  and 
serve  him,  ifjhe-  would  deliver  thee?  He  has  done 
his  part,  and  spared  thee  yet  longer,  aiiid  tried  thee 
another,  and  another  y eat ;  and  yet  dost  thou  not 
turn  ?  You  know  theipaTable  of  the  unfruitful  fig-tree, 
Luke  xiii.  7,  8,  9.  When  the  Lord  had  said.  Cut  it 
down ;  why  cUmbereth  it  the  grownd  P  he  was  entreatfed 
to  try  it  one  year  longer,  and  then  if  it  proved  not 
fruitful,  to  cut!  it  down.  Christ-himself  there  makes 
the  application  twice  over,  ver.  3,  and  5.  Except  ye 
repent,  ye  shall  all  likewise  perish.  How  maniy  years 
has  God  looked  for  the  fruits  of  love  and  holiness  from 
thee,  and  has  found  none  ? — ^and  yet  he  has  spared 
thee.  How  many  a  time,  by  thy:  wilful  ignorance  and 
careleteness,  and  disobedience,  hast  thou  provoked 
justice  to  say,  cut  him  down ;  why  cumhereth  he  the 
ground?  And  yet  mercy  has  prevailed,  and  patience 
baa  forborne  the  killing,  damning  blow  to  this  day. 
If  thou  hadst  the  understanding  of  a  man  within  thee, 
thou  wouldst  know  that  all  this  calleth  thee  to  turn. 
Dost  thou  think  thou  shall  siill  escape  the  judgment 
of  God  ?  or  despisest  thou  the  riches  of  his  goodness, 
and  Jhrbearance,  and  hng-siifferiifig ;  not  knowing 
that  the,  goodness  of  God  leadeth  thee  to  repentance  ? 
But  J  after  thy  hardness  and  impenitent  heart,  trea- 
surest  up  unto  thyself  wrath  against  the  day  of  wrath 
and  revelation  of  the  righteous  judgment  of  God,  who 
will  render  t<f  every  man  according  to  his  deeds* 
8.  Moreover,  it  is  the  voice  of  every  affliction  to 

*  Rom.  ii.  3—6. 

82  A    CALL   TO   TH^E  "UNCaiTVERXEDj. 

call  thee  to  make  haste  and  /wrn.  iSiekrress  and  pAm 
cry  turn;  and  poverty,  and  loss  of  friendsv  and  every 
twig  of  the  chastising  rod,  cry  turn;  and  yet  wilt  thou 
not  hearken  to  the  call!  These  have  come  near  thee, 
and  made  thee  feel ;-  they  have  made  theie  groto,  and 
can  they  not  make  thee  turn?  ,    '  s^O" 

.9.  The  very  frame  of  thy  nature  and  being  itself, 
bespeaketh  thy  return?  Why  hast  thou  reason,  biit 
to  rule  thy  flesh,  ahd  serve  thy  Lord  ?  Why;  hast 
thou  an  understanding  soul  but  to  learn,  and  know 
his  will,  and  do  it  ?  Why  hast  thou  an  heart  within 
thee,  that  can  love,'and  fear,  and  desire,  but  that  thou 
shouldst  fear  him,  and  love  him,  and  desire  after  him  ? 

10.  Yea,  thine  own  engagements  by  promise  to 
the  Lord,  do  call  upon  thee  to  turn  and  serve  him. 
Thou  hast  bound  thyself  to  him  by  a  baptismal 
covenant,  and  renounced  the  world,  the  flesh,  and 
the  devil:  This  thou  hast  confirmed  by  the  profession 
of  Christianity,  and  renewed  it:  at  sacraments,  and  in 
times  of, affliction;  and  wilt.tbou  promise  and  vow,i 
and  never  perfpEm  and  turn  to  God  ? 

Lay  all  these  together,  now,  and  see  what  should 
be  the  issue.  The  holy  scriptures  call  upon  thee  tq 
turn;  the  ministers  of  Christ  call  upon  thee  to  turn} 
the  Spirit  cries  turn;  thy  conscience  cries  turn;  the 
godly,  by  persuasions  and  examples,  cry  turn;  the 
whole  world  and  all  the  creatures  therein  that  are 
presented  to  thy  consideration,  cry  turn;  the  patient 
forbearance  of  God,  cries  turn ;  all  the  mercies  which 
thou  received,  cry  turn;  the  rod  of  God's  chastisement, 
cries  turn;  thy  reason^  and  the  frame  of  thy  nature 
bespeaks  thy  turning ;  and  so  do  all  thy  promises  to 
God  ;  and  yet  art  thou  not  resolved  to  turn  ? 

Moreover,  poor  hardhearted  sinner,  didst  thou 
ever  consider  upon  what  terms  thou  standest  all  this 


wMlemith  Mm  who  odlU  on  t^e'  to  turn  9  THdu  art 
his  own,  and  ow«st  him. thyself,:  and  all  thou  hast; 
and  may  he  not  command  his  own  ?  Thou  art  his 
absolute  servant,  and  shouldst  serve  no  other  master. 
Thou  standest  at  his  naercy,  and  thy  life  is  iri  his 
hand,  and  he  is  resolved  to  save  thee  upon  no  other 
terms:  thou  hast  many  malicious  spiritual  enemies, 
who",  would  be  glad  if  God  would  but  forsake  thee; 
and  leave  thee  to  their  will;  ho\v  quickly  would  they 
deal/with  thee  in  ar^other  manner!  And  thou  canst 
not  be  delivered  from  them,  but  by  turning  unto  God. 
Thou, art  fallen  under  his  wrath  by  thy  sin  already; 
and  thou  knowestuot  how  long  his  patience  will  yet 
wait.  Perhaps  this  is  the  last^year ;  perhaps  the  last 
day  :  his  sword  is  even  at  thy  hearty  while  the  word 
is  in  thine  ear;  and  if  thou  turn  not,  thou  art  a  dead  and 
undone  man.  Were  thy: eyes  but  open  to  see  where 
thou  standest,  even  upon  the  brink  of  hell,  and  to  see 
how  many  thousands  are  there  already^  that  did  not 
turn,  thou  wouldst  see  that  it  is  time  to  look  about 

Well,  Sirs,  look  inwards  now,  and  tell  me,  how  are 
your  hearts  aflfected  with  those  offers  of  the  Lord? 
You  hear  what  is  his  mind ;  he  delights  not  in  your 
death ;  he  calls  to  you,  furn,  turn!  It  is  a  fearful 
sign  if  all  this  move  thee  not,  or  if  it  do  but  half  move 
thee;  and  much  more  if  it  make  thee  more  careless  in 
thy  misery^  because  thou  hearest  of  the  mercifulnes^s 
of  God,  O  what  glad  tidings  would  it  be  to  those 
that  are  now  in  hell,  if  they  had  but  such  a  message 
from  God  !  What  a  joyful  word  it  would  be  to  hear 
this,  lurn  and  live;  yea,  \vhat  a  welcome  word  would 
it  be  to  thyself,  if  thou  hadst  felt  the  wrath  of  God 
but  an  hour !  or,  if  after  a  thousand,  or  ten  thousand 
years'  torment,  thou  cduldst  but  hear  such  a  word 

84  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNfiC©NVEIlTE0. 

fpom  God,  as  Tutn^awd  live !  And  yet  wilt  thou  now 
neglect  it,  andsuffenis  to  i*et«r.ii  without  our  errand  ? 
Behold,  sinnersi  we  arie  sent  here  as  th& messengers 
ofjthe  Lord,  to  set  before  you  life  and  death :  whdt 
say  you  ?  Which  of  them  will  you  choose?  Christ 
stands  as  it  were  by  thee,  with  heaven  in  one  haindf 
and  hell  in  theiotiier,  and  offers  thee  thy  chotce*; 
which  wilt  thoii  choose?  The  voice  of  ^the  Lord 
maketh  the  rochs  to  tremhle.'  And  is  it  nothing  to 
hear  himthreaten  thee,  if  thou  wilt  not  turn  ?  Dost 
thou  not  understand  and  feel  this  voice,  Turn  ye, 
tm*n  ye;  why  iviil  ye  die?  Why,  it  is  the  voice  of 
love,  of  infinite  love,  of  thy  best  and  kindest- Friend, 
as  thou  mightest  easily  perceive  by  the  motion  ;  and 
yet  canst  thou  neglect  it?3  It  is  the  voice  of  pity 
and  compassion^  The  Lord  sees  whither  thou  .art 
going  belter  than  thou  dost,  which  makes  him  call 
after  thee.  Turn,  turn :  he  sees  what  will  become  of 
thee,  if  thou  turn  not:  he  thinks  with  himself,— ^:^Aj 
this  poor  sinner  will  cast  himself  into  endless  torments, 
if  he  do  not  turn;  I  must  injustice  deal  with  hint 
according  to  my  righteous  law;  and  therefore  he  calls 
after  thee.  Turn,  turn.  O  sinner !  if  you  did  but 
know  the  thousandth  part,  as  well  as  God  does,  of 
the  danger  that  is  near  you,  and  the  misery  you  are 
running  into*  we  should  have  no  more  need  to  call 
after  you  to  turn. 

Moreover,  this  voice  that  calls  to  thee,  is  the  same 
that  has  prevailed  with  thousands  already,  and  called 
all  to  heaven  that  are  now  there;  and  they  would 
not  now,  for  a  thousand  worlds,  that  they  had  raadie" 
light  of  it,  and  not  turned  to,  God.  Now  what  are 
they  possessing  that  turned  at  God's  ball  ?  Now  they 
peissBive  that  it  was  the  voice  of  love  that  meant  them 
no  more  harm  than  their  salvation ;  and  if  thou  wilt 

A    CALL-  TO    THE   UNCOKVERTftD.  85 

obey  the  same  call,  thou  shall  come  to  the  same 
happiness.  There  are  ifiillions  that  must  for  ever 
lament  tljat  they  turned  not ;  but  there  is  not  a  soul 
in  heaven  that  15  sorry  that  they  were  converted. 

Well,  are  you  yet  resolved,  or  are  you  not  ?    Do 
I'ttee^d-to  say  any  more  td  you  ?    What  Will  yoxi  do  ? 
Will  you  turn  or  not^  '  S{)eak,  man;  in  thy  Ireji^rt  to 
God:  spe^k^lest  he  take  tfay  silence  for  denValv  'Spteak 
quickly,  lest  he  never  make  thee  the  like  offer'ttiore. 
S|)eak  resolvedly,  apd  not  waveringly;*  for  he  will 
have  no  indifFerents  to  be' his  fbllowers.     Say  in  thy 
heart  now,  withbut  ariy  more  delay,  eveln  before  thou 
stir  hence,  By  the  grace  of  God  I  am  resolved  presently 
to  turn ;  and  hecaiise  I  know  mine  own  vnsiMci^ncy, 
I  am  risolved  to  wait  on   God  for  his  grace,  and 
to  follow  him  in  hii-ivdi/s,  and  forsaJce  my  former 
courses  and  companions,   and  give  up  myself  to  the 
guidance  of  the  Ldrd. 

Sirs;  You  are  rtot  shut  upi  in  the  darkness  of 
heathenism,  nor  in  the  desperation  of  the  damned. 
Life  is  before  you,  and' you  may  havfe  it  on  reasonable 
termsj  if  you  will;  yea,  at  freecost,  if  yo"u  will 
accept  it.  The  "way  of  God  lies  plain  before  you ; 
the  church  open  to  you  :  you  may  have  Christ,  and 
pardon,  and  holiness,  if  you  will.  What  say  you  ? 
Will  you,  or  will  you  not?  If  yOxi  Say  nay;  or'say 
nothing,  and  still  go  on,  God  is  witness ;  your  own 
consciences  are  witnesses  how  fair  an  offer  yod'  had 
this  day.  Remember,  you  might  have  had  Christ, 
and  would  not;  remember,  virhen  you  have  lost  it, 
that  yoa  might  have  had  eternal  life,  as  well  as  Others, 
and  would  not:  and  all  because  ydu  w6uld  not  turnf 
But  let  us  come  to  the  next  doctrine,  aipd  hear 
your  reasons. 



The  Lord  condescends  to  reason  ihe.  case  with  'uhcpti- 
verted  sinners,  and  to  ask  them  why  they  will  die? 

A  strange  disputation  it  is,  both  as  to  the  oontrpr 
versy,  and  as  to  the  disputants^  > 

,  J.  The  controversy,  or  question  proposed,  is  Why 
wicked  men  will  datfin  therjtjseStJes;  or .  why  they  will 
rather]  die  them,  turn;  or  whether  they  have  any 
sufficient  reason  for  so  doing?    , 

.^,  Thedisputants  are  God  andman;  the  mostholy 
God,  and  wiciied,  unconverted  sinners. 

Is  it  not  a  strange  thing  which  God  seems  here  to 
suppose,  that  any  man  should  be  vpiiiing  to,  die  ^nd 
be  damned,  yea,  that  this  should  be  the  case  of  ,th@ 
wicked;  thaj  \s,  of  1:he  greatest  part  of  th^  world?: 
You  will  say,  'this  cannot  be;  for  nature  desiretb 
the  preservation  and  felicity  of  itself ;  arid  the  wickied 
are  more  selfish  than  others,  and  therefoj-e.  how  can 
any  man  be.^illing  to  be  damned  ?'  ,.  ,       ,  ,  ^  5 

To  which' I  answer,  1.  It  is  a  certain  tryth,  that  no 
man  can  be  willing  of  any  evil  as,  evil,,  but  only  as  it 
has  some  appg^rance  of  good;  much  less  can  any  man 
be,  y^iljing  to  be  eternally  tormented.  Misery,  as 
such,  is  desired  by  none.; — 2.  But  yet,  it  is  most 
true  which  God  here  teaches  us,  that  the  cause  why 
the  wicked  die  and  are  damned,  is  because  they  will 
die  and  be  damned.  And  this  is  true  in. several, 
respects,  ,  ,         ,  , 

1.  They  will  go  tf^e  way  that  leads  to  AeW;— though 
they  are  told  by  God  and  man  whither  it  leads ;  and 
though  God'has  sf»  often  professed  in  his  word,  that 
if  they  hold  on  in  that  way,  they  shall  be  con^efldned; 
and  that  they  shall  not  be  saved,  unless  they  turn.— 

A    CAIiL  *0    THE    UNCONVERtED.  87 

They  have  the  word  and  the  6ath  of  the  Jiving  God 
for  it,  that  if  tiiey  will  ^6t  turn,  th^  shall  not  entet? 
into  his  rest.  And  yet,  wicked  they  are,  and  wicked 
they  will  be ;  let  God  and  man  say  what  they  will. 
So  that,  consequently,  these  men  are  willin*  to  be 
damned,  thdughnot  directly:  they  choose  the  way 
to  bell,  and  love  the  certain  cause  of  their  torments  ; 
though  they  do  not  will  hell  itself,  and  do^  not  love 
the  pain  which  they  must  endure. 

Is  not  this  the  truth  of  your  case  ?  You  would  not 
burn  in  hell;  but  you  will  cast  yourselves  into  it. 
You  would  not  be  tormented  with  devils  for  ever, 
byt  you  will  do  that  which  will  certaiijly  procure  it. 
It  is  as  if  you  would  say,  I  will  drink  this  ratsbane, 
but  I  will  not  die;  I  will  cast  myself  headlong- frona 
the  top  of  a  steeple,  but  yet  I  will  not  kill  myself: 
I  will  thrust  this  knife  into  my  breast,  but  I  will  not 
take  away  my  life.  Just  so  it  is  with  wfcked  men ; 
they  will  be.  wicked,  and  yet  they  would  .not  be 
damned.  But  do  you  hot  know  that  God  hasj  by 
his  righteous  law,  concludecj  that  you  must  repent  or 
{>erish  ?  He  that  will  take  poison,  may  as  well  say 
plainly,- 1  will  kill  myself,  for  it  will  prove  no  better 
in  the  end ;  though  perhaps  he  loved  it  for  the 
sweetness  of  the  sugar  that  was  mixed  with  it,  and 
would  not  be  persuaded  that  it  was  poison  :  but  it  is 
not  his  conceit  and  confidence  that  will  save  his  life. 
So  if  you  will  be  drunkards,  or  fornicators,  or  world- 
lings, or  live  after  the  flesh,  you  may  as  well  say 
plainly,  we  will  be  damned,  for  so  you  shall  be,  unless 
you  turn, — Would  you  not  rebuke  the  folly  of  a  thief 
or  murderer  that  would  say,  /  will  steal  or  Mil,  but 
I  will  not  be  hanged;  when  he  knows  that  if  he  do 
the  one,  the  judge  will  see  that  the  other  be  done  ? 
If  he  say,  /  will  steal  and  murder,  he  may  as  well 

S8  A   CALL   TOi  TPE   UN€ON.VEI^TEl>. 

say  plainly,  I  will  be  hanged  :^  and  if  yQU  wiU  gP  <?« 
in  a  carnal  life,  you  may  as  %ell  say  plainly,  we  tviil 
gaiohell ,    ,     .,    i:    ,  u/.      ■         mI  f 

2.  Moreover^  the  wicked  will  not  ttse  those  mems, 
without  which  there;  is  no  hope  of-  their  salvation^ 
He  that  will  hot  eat,  may  as  well  say  plainly,  he 
will  not  live,  unless  he  can  tell  how  to  live  without 
meat.  He  that  will  not  go  his  journey,  may  as  well 
say  plainly,  iie  will  not  come  to  the  end  of  it.  Hfe 
that  fells  intp.tbe  water,  and  will  not  come  oiit,  or, 
suflFer  another  to  help  him  out,  may  as  well  say 
plainly, : he;  will  be  drowned,  So  if  you  be  ungodly, 
and  will  not  be  converted,  or  use  the  means  by  which 
you  should  be  converted,  you  may  as  well  say 
plainly,  you  will  be  damned.  For  if  you  have  found 
out  a  way  to  be  saved:  without  conversion,  you  have 
done  that  which  was  never  done  before. 

3,  Yea,  this  is  not  all,  but  the  wicked  are  wnwillmg, 
even  of  salvation  itself,  though  they  may  desire 
somewhat  which  they  call  by  the  name  of  heaven; 
yet  heaven  itself,  considered  in  the  true  nature  of  the 
felicity,  they  desire  not :  yea,  their  hearts  are  quite 
against  it.  Heaven  is  a  state  of  perfect  holiness,  and 
of  continual  love  and  praise  to  God,  and  the  wicked 
have  no  heart  to  this.  The  imperfect  love,  and 
praise,  ^nd  holiness  which  is  here  to  be  attained, 
they  have  no  mind  for ;  nitich  less  of  that  which  is 
so  much  greater ;  the  joys  of  heaven  are  of  so  pure 
and  spiritual  a  nature,  that  the  heart  of  the  wicked 
cannot  trulv  desire  them. 

So  that  you  may  see  on  what  ground  it  is  that 
God  supposes  that  the  wicked  will  their  own  destruc- 
tion :  they  will  not  turn,  though  they  must  turn  or 
die:  they  will  rather  venture  on  certain  misery,  than 
be  converted ;  and  then,  to  quiet  themselves  in  their 


sins,  they  make  themselves  believe  that  they  shall 
nevertheless  escape. 

And  as  this  controversy  is  matter  of  wonder,  so  are 
the  disputants  too; — that  God  should  stoop  so  low 
as  thus  to  plead  the  case  with  man  !  and  that  men 
should  be  so  strangely  blind,  and  obstinate,  as  to  need 
all  this  in  so  plain  a  case ;  yea,  and  to  resist  all  this, 
when  their  own  salvation  lies  upon  the  issue  ! 

No  wonder  if  they;  will  not  hear  us  who  are  men, 
when  they  will  not  hear  the  Lord  himself::  as  God 
says,  when  tie  sent  the  prophet  to  the  Israelites,  The 
house  of  Israel  will  not  hearken  unto  thee;  jar  they 
will  mt  hearken  unto  me :  for  all  the  house  of  Israel 
are  impudent  and  hard-hearted.*  But  woe  unto  him 
(saith  the  hord)  Jhat  striveth  with  his  Maker!  Let 
the  potsher*d  strive  with  the  potsherds  of  the  earth. 
Shall  the  clay  say  to  him  that  fashioneth  it,  What 
Makest  thou?'\ 

Quest.  But  why.  is  it  that^  God  will  reason  the  case 
with  man  ? 

Answ.l.  Because  that  man  being  a  reasonable 
creature,  is  accordingly  to  be  dealt  with ;  and  by  reason 
to  be  persuaded,  and  overcome:  God  hath  therefore 
endowed  them  with  reason,  that  they  might  use  it  for 
him.  One  would  think  a  reasonable  creature  should 
not  go  against  the  clearest,  the  greatest  reason  in  the 
world,  when  it  is  set  before  him. 

3.  At  least,  men  shall  see  that  God"  did  require 
nothing  oftheol  that  was  unreasonable;  but  that  what 
he  commandeth, them,  and  whatever  he^fovbiddeth 
them,  he  hath  all  the  right  reason  in  the  world  on  his 
side:  and  they  have  good  reason  to  obey  him,  but 
none  to  disobey.  And  thus  even  the  damned  shall 
be  forced  to  justify  God,  and  confess  that  it  was  but 
*Ezek.  iii.7. '       '  f  Isa.  xlv.  9. 

90  A    CALL   TO    The   ITNCONVEETED. 

reason  that  they  should  have  turned  to  him ;  and  they 
shall  be  fofced  to  condemn  themselves,  and  confess 
that  they  had  little  reason  to  cast  away  themselves  by. 
the  neglecting  of  his  grace  in  the  day  of  their  visitatioh. 


Look  upon  your  best  and  strongest  reason, 
sinners,  if  you  will  make  good  your  way.  You  see 
now  with  whom  you  have  to  deal.  What  sayest 
thou,  unconverted  wretch  ?  Barest  thou  venture 
upon  a  dispute  with  God  ?  Art.  thou  able  to  confute 
him  ?  Art  thou  ready  to  enter  the  lists  ?  God  asks 
thee.  Why  wilt  thou  die  ?  Art  thou  furnished  with 
a  sufficient  answer  >  Wilt  thou  undertake  to  prove 
that  God  is  mistaken?  O  what  ah  undertaking  is 
that !  Why,  either  he  or  you  is  mistaken,  when  he 
is  for  your  conversion,  and  you  are  against  it;  he  calls 
upon  you  to  turn,  and  you  will  not ;  he  bids  you  do 
it  presently,  even  to-day,  while  it  is  called  to-day,  and 
you  delay,  and  think  it  time  eno,ugh  hereafter.  He 
says  it  must  be  a  total  change,  and  you  must  be  holy 
and  new  creatures;  and  you  think  it  is  enough  to 
patch  up  the  old  man,  without  becoming  new.  Who 
is  in  the  right  now  ?  God  or  you  ?  God  calls  on  you 
to  turn,  and  to  live  a  holy  life,  and  you  will  not:  by 
your  disobedient  liv^s,  it  appears  you  will  not.  If 
you  will,  why  do  you  not  ?  Why  have  you  not  done 
it  all  this  while  ?  And  why  do  you  not  fall  upon  it 
yet  ?  Your  wills  have  the  command  of  your  lives. 
We  may  certainly  conclude  that  you  are  unwilling 
to  turn,  when  you  do  not  turn.  j4nd  whi/' will  you 
not?  Can  you  give  any  reason  for  it,  that  is  worthy 
to  be  called  a  reason  ? 

I  that  am  but  a  worm,  your  fellow-creature,  of  a 

A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.  91 

shallow  iCapacity,  dare  challenge  the  wisest  of  you 
all  to  reason  the  case  with  me,  while  I  plead  my 
M^Jcer^s  cause ;  and  I  need  not  be  discouraged  when 
I  know  1  plead  but  the  cause  that  God  pleadeth,  and 
contend  for  him  that  will  have  the  best  at  last.  Had 
I  but  thesq  two  general  grounds  against  you,  I  am 
sure  that  you  have  no  good  reason  on  your  side. 

I  am  sure  it  can  be  no  good  reason  which  is  against 
the  God  of  truth.  That  cannot  be  light  which  is 
contrary  to  the  sun..  There  is  no  knowledge  in  any 
creature,  but  what  it  had  from  God;  and  therefore 
none  can  be  wiser  than  God.  It  were  damnable 
presumption  for  the  highest  angel  to  compare  with 
his  Creator:  what  is  it  then  for  a  lump  of  dirt,  an 
ignorant  sot,  that  knows  not  himself  nor  his  own 
soul,  that  knows  but  little  of  the  things  which  he 
sees,  to  set  himself  against  the  wisdom  of  the  Lord  ? 
It^v,is  one  of  the  fullest  discoveries  of  the  horrible 
wick^ness,  and  the  stark  madness  of  sinners,  that 
so  silly  a  mole  dare  contradict  his  Maker,  alid  call  ia 
question  the  word  of  God. 

And,  as  I  know  that  God  must  needs  be  in  the 
right,  so  I  know  the  case  is  so  palpable  which  he 
pleads  against,  that  no  man  can  have  reason  for  it. 
Is  it  possible  that  a  man  can,  have  any  reason  to  bjeak 
his  Maker's  laws  ?  Reason  to  dishonour  the  Lord  of 
glory  ?  Reason  to  abuse  the  Lord  that  bought  him? 
Is  it  possible  that  a  man  can  have  any  good  reason 
to  damn  his  own  immortal  soul  ?  Mark  the  Lord's 
question,  Twrn  ye,  turn  ye;  why  will  ye  die?  Is 
eternal  death  a  thing  to  be  desired  ?  Are  you  in  love 
with  hell  ?  What  reason  have  you  wilfully  to  perish  ? 
If  you  think  you  have  some  reason  to  sin,  should 
you  not  remember,  that  death  i$  the  wages  of  sin? 
And   think  vvhether  you  have  any  reason  to  undo 

92  A.CALr,   TO'  THE    tTNCOliVERTED. 

yourselves,  body  and  soul,  for  ever.     You  should  not 
only  ask  whether  you  love  the  adder,  but  whether 
yoii  love  the  sting.     It  is  such  a  thing  for  a  man  to 
cast  away  his  everlasting  happiness  and  to  sin  against 
God,  that  no  good  reason  can  be  given  for  it;  but  the 
more  any  one  pleads  for  it,  the  madder  he  shows 
himself  to  be.     Had  you  a  lordship  or  a  kingdom 
offered  you  for  every  sin  that  you  commit,  it  were 
not  reason,  butrtiadness,  to  accept  it.     Could  you, 
by  every  sin,  obtaiin  the  highest  thing  on  earth  that 
flesh  desires,  it   were  of  no  considerable  value  to 
persuade  you  to  commit  it.     If  it  were  to  please  your 
grfeaJtest  or  dearest  friends,  or  to  obey  the  greatest 
prince  on  earth,  or  to  save  your  lives,  or  to  escape 
the  greatest  earthly  misery ;  alt  these  are  of  no  con- 
sideration, to  draw  a  man  to  the  committing  of  one 
sin.     If  it  Wjere  a  tight-hand,  or  a  right-eVe;  that 
would  hinder  your' salvation,  it  is  the  gainfullestWay 
to  c'ut  it  offjOr  pluck  it  Out.     For  there  is  no  saving 
a  part  where  you  lose  the  Whoiei     So  exceedingly 
great  are  the  matters  of  eternity,  that  nothing  in  this 
world  deserves  to  be  named  in  comparison  with  them; 
nor  can  any  earthly  thing,  though  it  were  life,  or 
crowns,  or  kingdoms,  be  a  reasonable  excuse  for  the 
neglect  of  matters  of  high  and  everlasting  consequence. 
Heaven  is  such  a  thing, -that  if  you  lose  it,  nothing 
can  sufjply  the  want,  or  make  up  your  loss ;  and  hell 
is  such  a  thing,  that  if  you  suffer  it,  nothing  can 
remove  your  rriisery,  or  give  you  ease  and  comfort. 
And  therefore  nothing  can  be  a  valuable  consideration 
to  eixcuse  you  for  neglecting  your  own  salvation  :  for 
says  our  Saviour,  What  shall  it prtifit  a  man,  if  he 
shall  gain  the  whoits  world,  arid  lose  his  own  soul?* 
"'  O  that  you  did  but  know  what  matters  they  are 

*  Mark  viii.  SQ, 

A    C^LL   Ta   THE    UNCONTERTED.  93 

which' we  are  now  speaking  of!  There  is  never  a  soul 
in  liell  but  knows,  by  this  time,  that  it  was  a  mad 
exchange  to  let  go  heaven  for  fleshly  pleasure;  and 
that  it  is  not  a  little  mirth,  or  pleasure,  or  worldly 
riches,  or  honour,  that  will  make  him  a  saver  that 
loses  his  soul. 

If  you  see  a  man  put  his  hand  into  the  fire  till  it 
burn  off,  you  will  marvel  at  it :  but  this  is  a  thing 
which  a  man  may  have  reason  for;  as  Bishop  Cranmer 
had,  when  he  burnt , off  his  hand  for  subscribing  to 
popery;  ■  If  you  see  a  man  cut  off  a  leg,  or  an  arm, 
it  i&asad  sight:  but  this  is  a  thing  that  a  man  may 
have  good  reason  for;  as  many  a  man  does,  to  save 
his  life.  If  you  seie  a  man  give  his  body  to  be  burnt 
to  ashes,  and  refuse  deliverance  when  it  is  offered; 
this  is  a  hard  case  to  flesh  and  blood :  but  this  a  man 
may  have  good  reason  for ;  as  many  hundred  martyrs 
have  done.  But  for  a  man  to  run  into  the  fire  of  hell; 
this  is  a  thing  which  can  have  no  reason  in  the  world 
to  jilstify  it.  For  heaven  will  pay  for  the  loss  of  any 
thing  we  can  lose  to  get  it,  or  for  any  labour  which 
we  bestow  for  it.  But  nothing  can  pay  for  the  loss 
of  heaven. 

I  beseech  you  now,  let  his  word  come  nearer  to 
your  hearts.  As  ybu  are  convinced  that  you  have  no 
reason  to  destroy  yourselves,  tell  me  what  reason  have 
you  to  refuse  to  turn,  and  live  to  God  ?  What  reason 
has  the  most  ignorant  careless  sinner  of  you  all,  why 
he  should  not  be  as  careful  of  his  soul  as  any  other  ? 
Will  not  hell  be  as  hot  to  you  as  to  others  ?  Should 
not  yoiir  own  sOuls  be  as  dear  to  you,  as  theirs  to 
them  ?  Has  not  God  as  much  authority  over  you  ? 
Why  then  will  you  not  become  a  sanctified  people,  as 
well  as  they? 

O  sirs,  when  God  bringeth  the  matter  down  to  the 

94  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED 

very  principles  of  nature,  and  shows  you  that  you 
have  no  more  reason  to  he  ungodly  than  you  have  to 
damn  your  ownsouls, — if  yet  you  will  not  understand 
and  turn,  it  seems  a  desperate  case  that  you  are  in. 

And  now  either  you  have  reason  for  what  you  do,  > 
or  you  have  not.  If  not,  will  you  go  on  agains'l 
reason  itself?  Will  you  do  that  which  you  have 
no  reasQn  for?  But.  If  you  think  you  have,  reason  the 
case  a  little  with  me,  your  fellow-creature,  which  is 
far  easier  than  to  reason  the  case  with  God.  Tell 
me,  man,  here  before  the  Lord,  as  if  thou  wert  to  die 
this  hour,  why  shouldst  thou  not  resolve  to  turn 
this  day,  before  thou  stir  from  the  place  thou  standest 
in  ?  What  reason  hast  thou  to  deny,  or  to  delay  ? 
Hast  thou  any  reason  that  satisfies  thine  own  con- 
science for  it?  Or  any  that  thou  darest  own  and 
plead  at  the  bar  of  God?  If  thou  hast,  let,  us  hear 
them,  bring  them  forth.  But,  alas !  what  nonsense, 
instead  of  reasons,  do  we  daily  hear  from  ungodly 
men  !  I  should  be  ashamed  to  name  them,  were  it 
not  necessary.    ', 

Object.  1,  One  says,  If  none  shall  be  saved  but 
spch  sanctified  ones  as  you  talk  of,  heaven  will  be 
but  empty:  God  help  a  great  many, 

AyHS.  What !  It  seems  you  think  that  God  does 
not  know,  or  else  that  he  is  not  to  be  believed ! 
Measure  not  all  by  yourselves:  God  has  thousands 
and  millions  of  bis  sanctified  ones;  but  yet  they  are 
few  in  comparison  of  the  world,  as  Christ  himself  has 
told  us,  Matt',  vii.  13,  14.  Luke  xi.  33.  It  better 
becomes  you  to  m^ke  that  use  of  this  truth  which, 
jChrist  teaches  you:  Strive  to  enter  in  at  the  strait 
gate:  for  strait  is  the  gate,  and  narrow  is  the  way 
that  leadeth  unto  life,  and  fow  there  be  thatjindit; 
hut  wide  is  the  gate,  and  broad  is  the  way,  that 

A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.  95 

ieadeth  to  destruction,  and  many  there  he  that  go  in 

Object.  2.  I  am  sure  if  such  as  I  go  to  hell,  we 
shall  have  store  of  company. 

Ans.  And  will  that  be  apy  ease  or  comfort  to  you  ? 
or  do  you  think  you  may  not  have  company  enough 
in  heaven  ?  Will  you  be  undone  for  company  ?  Or 
will  you  not  believe  that  Go|i  will  execute  his  threat- 
enings,  because  there  are  so  many  tbstt  are  guilty? 
All  these  are  unreasopable  conceits. 

Object.-S.  But  all  men  are  sinners,  even  the  best 
of  you  all. 

Ans.  But  all  are  not  unconverted  sinners.  The 
godly  live  not  in  gross  sins;  and  their  very  infirmities 
are  their  grief  arid  burden,  which  they  daily  long,  and 
prav,  and  strive  to  be  rid  of.  Sin  has  not  dominion 
over  them. 

Object.  4.  I  do  not  see  that  professors  are  any 
better  than  othpr  men ;  they  will  overreach,  and 
oppress,,  and  are  as  covetous  as  any. 

Ans.  Whatever  hypocrites  are,  it  is  not  so  with 
those  that  are  sanctified.  God  hath  thousands,  or  ten 
thousands  that  are  otherwise,  though  the  malicious 
world  accuses  them  of  what  they  can  never  prove, 
and  of  that  which  never  entered  into  their  hearts;  and 
commonly  they  charge  them  with  heart-sins,  which 
none  can  see  but  God,  because  they  can  charge  them  . 
with  no  such  wickedness  in  their  lives  as  they  are 
guilty  of  themselves. 

Object.  5.  But  I  am  no  whoremonger,  nor  drunkard, 
nor  oppressor;  and  therefore  why  should  you  call 
upon  me  to  be  converted  ? 

Ans.  As  if  you  were  not  born  after  the  flesh,  and 
not  lived  after  the  flesh,  as  well  as  other's !  Is  it  not 
as^great  a  sin  as  any  of  these,  for  a  man  to  have  an 

96  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

earthly  mind,  and  to  love  tlie  world ^bove  God,  and 
to  have  an  unbelieving,  unhumbled  heart?  Nay,  let 
me  tell  you  more,  that  many  persons  who  avoid 
disgraceful  sins,  are  as  fast  glued  to  the  world,  and  as 
much  i slaves  to  the  flesh,  and  as  great  strangers  to 
God,  and  averse  to  heaven,  as  others  are  in  their 
more  shameful  notorious  sins.  iT 

Object.  6.  But  I  mean  nobody  any  harm,  nor  do 
any  harm ;  and  why  then  shourd  God  condemn  me  ? 

Ans.^  Is  it  no  harm  to  neglect  the  Lord  that  made 
thee,,  and  the  work  for  which  thou  earnest  into  the 
wor|d,  and  to  prefer  the  creature  before  the  Creator, 
and  to  neglect  grace  which  is  daily ,-oflFered  thee?  It 
is  the  depth  of  thy  sinfulness  to  be  so  insensible  of 
it:  the  dead  feel  not  that  they  are  dead.  If  once 
thou  wert  alive,  thou  wouldst  see  enough  amiss  in 
thyself,  and  marvel  ait  thyself  for  making  so  light 
of  it. 

Object.  7.  I  think  you  would  niake  men  mad, 
under  pretence  of  converting  them;  it  is  enongh  to 
rack  the  brains  of  sinful  people,  to  muse  so  much  on 
matters  so  h igh  for  them . 

Ans.  1.  Can  you  be  madder  than  you  are  already; 
or,  at  least,  can  there  be  a  more  dangerous  madness, 
than  to  neglect  your  everlasting  welfare,  and  wilfully 
undo  yourselves  ? 

2.  A  man  is  never  well  in  his  right  mind  till  he  be 
converted ;  he  never  knows  God,  nor  knows  sin,  nor 
knows  Christ,  nor  knows  the  world,  nor  himself, 
nor  what  his  business  is  on  earth,  so  as  to  set 
himself  about  it.  Js  it  a  wise  world,  when  men  will 
run  into  hell'fpr  fear  of  being  out  of  their  wits  ? 

3.  What  is  there  in  the  work  which  Christ  calls  you 
io,  that, should  drive  a  man  out  of  his  senses?  Is  it 
the  loving  God,  and  calling  upon  him,  and  thitoking 

A    CALL   TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.  97 

of. glory  to  come,  and  the  forsaking,  our  sin's,  and 
loving  one  another,  and  delighting  ourselves  in  the 
service  of  God  ?  Are  these  such  things  as  make  men 
mad  > 

4.  tAfld  whereas  you  say  that  these  matters  are  too 
high  for. us;  you  accuse  God  himself  for  making  this 
our  work,  and  giving  us  his  Word,  and  commanding 
all  that  will  be  blessed,  to  meditate  an  it  day  and 
night. — Are  the  matters  which  we  are  made  for, 
and  which  we  live  for,  too  high  for  us  to  meddle 
with  ?  This  is  plainly  to  unman  us,  and  to  make 
beasts  of  us;  as  if  we  were  like  them  that  must  meddle 
with  no  higher  meitters  than  what  belongs  to  flesh 
and.  earth.  If  Heaven  be  too  high  for  you  to  think 
op  and  provide  for,  it  will  be  too  high  for  you  ever 
to  possess. 

5.  If  God  should  sometimes  suffer  any  weak-headed 
persons  to  be  distracted  by  thinking, of  eternal  things; 
this  is  because  they,  misunderstand  them,  and  run 
without  a  guide.  But  of  the  two,  I  had  rather  be^ 
in  the  case  of  such  a  one,  than  in  that  of  the  mad 
unconverted  world,  who  take  their  distraction  to  be 
their,  wisdom. 

Object.  8. :  I  do  not  think  that  God  cares  so  much 
what  men  think,  or  speak,  or  do,  as  to  make 'so  great 
a  matter  of  it. 

Ans.  It  seems  then,  you  take  the  word  of  God  to 
be,false,.and  then  what  will  you  believe  ?  But  your 
own  reason  might  teach  you  better,  if  you  believe  riot 
the  scriptures ;  for  you  see  God  sets  not  so  light  by 
us;  but  that  he  vouchsafed  to  make  us,  and  still 
preserves  us,  and  daily  upholds  us,  and  provides  for 
us;  and  will  any  wise  man  make  a  curious  frame 
for  nothing  ?  Will  you  make,  or  buy  a  clock  or  a 
watch,  and  daily  look  to  it,  and  not  care  whether  it 



go  true  or  false  ?  Surely,  if  yoii  believe  Hot  a  particuldt 
eye  of  providence  observing  your  hearts  and  lives,  yoU 
cannot  believe  or  expect  any  particular  prbvideilcfe  to 
observe  your  wants  and  troubles,  or  to  relieve  you ; 
and  if  God  had  so  little  care  for  you  as  you  imagine, 
you  would  never  have  lived  till  now;  a  hundred 
diseases  would  have  striven  which  should  first  d^sttoy 
you ;  yea,  the  devils  woul'd  have  hauntbd  ydti,  ahd 
fetched  you  away  alive,  as  the  great  fishes  devoiir  the 
lefeSj  and  as  ravenous  beasts  and  birds  devout  (JthlerSi 
You  cannot  think  that  God  made  mail  for  fao  end  or 
use ;  and  if  he  tnade  him  for  any,  it  was  sure  for 
hinlself :  and  can  ydu  think  he  cafes  not  \Vh6ther  his 
end  be  aeconiplished,  and  \Vhethfer  ive  do  thie  work 
that  we  are  irtade  for. 

Yea,  by  this  atheistical  objection,  you  make  God 
to  have  made  anti  upheld  all  the  world  in  vain :  what 
are  all  other  lower  creatures  for,  but  for  man  ?  What 
does  the  earth  but  bear  us,  and  nburish  us,  and  th6 
beasts  serve  us  with  their  labours  and  lives,  and  s'o 
of  the  rest.  And  hath  God  made  so  glorious  att 
habitation,  and  sef  man  to  dwell  in  it,  and  made  ail 
his  servants ;  and  now  doth  he  look  for  nothing  at  his 
hands,  nor  care  how  hfe  thiiiks^. or  spteak^,  or  lives} 
This  is  most  unreasonable. 

Object.  9»  It  was  a  better  world  whe^  ffi«eh  did 
not  make  so  much  ado  in  religion. 

Ans.  1.  It  hath  ever  been  the  custom  to  praise  the 
times  past;  that  world  that  you  speak  Of  \*as  vvOnt 
to  say  it  was  a  better  \vorM  in  their  forefatliters'  days> 
and  so  did  they  of  their  forefathfers.  This  is  b^it  art 
old  custom;  because  we  all  feel  the  evil  of  our  titties^ 
but  We  see  not  that  which  was  before  us. 

2.  Perhaps  you  speak  as  you  think:  worldlings 
think  the  world  is  at  the  best  when  it  is  agrfefeaiite  t© 


thei¥.  minds,  and  isjhen  they  have  most  mirth  and 
worldly  pleasure ;  and  I  doubt  not  but  the  devil,  as 
WpU  as  you,  would  gay,  that  then  it  was  a  better  wprld, 
for  then  he  had  more  service  ai^d  less  disturbance. 
But  the  world  is  at  the  best  when  God  is  most  loved, 
regarded,  and  obtfyed  ;  'and  hpw  else  will  you  know 
whea  the  world  is  good  or  bad,  but  by  this  ? 

Otyect.  10.  There  are  so  many  ways  and  religions, 
that  we  know  not  which  to  be  of;  and  therefore  we 
will  he  even  as  we  ari^. 

Ans.  Bepause  there  are  many,  will  you  be  of  that 
way  that  you  may  be  sure  is  wrong  >  None  are  further 
out  of  the  way  than  worldly,  fleshly,  unconverted 
sinnena;  for  they  do  not  only  err  in  this  or  riiEjt 
opinion,  as  many  sects  do,  but  in  the  very  course  and 
drift  of  thpip  lives.  If  you  were  going  a  journey  that 
your  life  lay  on,  would  you  stop  or  turn  again, 
bjecause  you  met  with  sqme  cros^ways,  or  because 
you  saw  some  travellers  go  the  horseway,  and  some 
the  footway,  and  some  perhapfe  break  oyej-  the  hedge, 
ye?»,  and  some  miss  tjie  way  ?  or  would  you  not 
rather  be  the  more  careful  to  inquire  the  way  ?  If  you 
have  some  servants  that  know  not  how  to  do  yoyr 
work  sight,  and  some  that  are  unfeithful,  would  you 
take  it  well  at  any  of  the  rest  that  would  therefore  be 
idle  ancl  do  you  no  service,  because  they  see  the  rest 
so  bad? 

Object.  11.  I  do  not  see  that  it  goes  any  better  with 
those  that  are  so  godly,  than  with  other  men.  They 
are  as  poor,  and  in  as  much  trouble,  as  others. 

An«.  And  perhaps  in  much  more,  wheii  God  sees 
it  meet.  They  take  not  earthly  prosperity  for  tKeir 
wages :  they  have  laid  up  their  treasures  in  another 
svorld,  or  else  they  are  not  Christians:  the  less  they 

100  ^  A    CALL   TO    THE   UNCOKVERTED. 

have,  the  more  is  behind ; 'and  they  are  corttent  to 
wait  till  then. 

Object.  12.  When  you  have  said  all  that  you  can, 
I  am  resolved  to  hope  well,  and  trust  in  God,  and  do 
as  well  as  I  can,  and  not  make  so  much  ado. 

Ans.  1.  Is  that  doing  as  well  as  you  can,  whenyou' 
will  not  turn  to  God,  but  your  heart  is  against  his 
holy  service?  It  is  as  well  as  you  iwiV/,  indeed;  but 
that  IS  your  misery.  • 

2.  My' desire  is,  that  you  should  hope  and  trust  in 
God:  but  for  what  is  it  that  you  will  hope  ?  Is  it  to 
be  saved,  if  you  turn  and  be  sanctified?  For  this  you 
have  God's  promise;  and  therefore  hope  for  it,  and 
spare  not. — But  if  you  hope  to  be  saved  without 
conversion;  this  is  not  to  hope  in  God,  but  in  Satan. 
For  God  has  given  you  no  such  promise,  but  told 
you  the  contrary:  but  it  is  Satan  and  self-love  that 
made  you  such  promiseis,  and  raised  you  to  such 
hopes.  ' 

What  say  you,  Unconverted  Sinners?  Have  you 
any  good  reason  to  give,  why  you  should  not  turn, 
and  presently  turn,  with  all  your  hearts  i*  Or  will  you 
go  to  hell  in  spite  of  reason  itself?  Consider  what 
you  do  in  time,  for  it  will  shortly?  be  too' late  to 
consider.  Can  you  find  any  fault  with  God,  or  his 
work,  or  wages  ?  Is  he  a  bad  master  ?  Is  the  devil, 
whom  you  serve,  a  better?  Is  there  any  harm  in  a 
holy  life?  Is  a  life  of  ungodliness  better?  Do  you 
think,  in  your  consciences,  that  it  would  do  you  any 
harm  to  be  converted,  and  live  a  holy  life  ?.  Wiiat 
harm  can  it  do  you  ?  Is  it  harm  to  you  to  have  the 
Spirit  of  Christ  within  you  ?  and  to  have  a  purified 
heart?  Is  it  evil  to  be  like  God  ?  Is  it  not  said  that 
Qod  made  man  in  his  image  P    Why,  this  liolitiess  is 

A    CALL   TO   THE   UNCO|<rVERTED.  101 

his'  image;  this  Adam  lost,  and  this  Christ  by  his 
word  and  Spirit  would  restore  to  you,  as  he  does  to 
all  that  -will  be  saved.  Tell  me  truly,  as  before  the 
Lord ;  though  you  are  loath  to  live  a  holy  life,  had 
you  not  rather  die  in  the  case  of  those  that  do  so,^ 
than  of  others  ?'  If  you  vs^ereto  die -this  day,  had' 
you  not  rather  die  in  the  case 'of  a  converted  man, 
than  of  the  unconverted  ?  of  a  holy  and  heavenly 
man,  than  of  a  carnal  earthly  man  ?  Add  would  you 
not  say  as  Balaam,  Le#  me  die  the  death  of  the  righ- 
teous, and  let  my  last  end  be  like  his!*  And  why 
will  you  not  now  be  of  the  mind  which  you  will  be 
of  then  ?  First' of  last,  you  must  cbme  to  this  ;  either 
to  be  converted  ;  'or'to  wish  you  had  been,  when  it  is 
too  late.      /      ' 

But  what  is  it  that  you  are  afraid  of  losing,  if  you 
turn  ?  Is  it  your  friends  ?  You  will  but  change  them: 
God  will  be  your  friend,  and  Christ  and  the  Spirit 
will  be  your  friend,  and  every  Christian  will  be  your 
friend.  You  will  get  one  Friend  that  will  stand  you 
in  more  stead  than  all  the  friends  in  the  world  could 
.have  done.  The  friends  you  lose  would  but  have 
enticed  you  to  hell,  but  could  not  have  delivered 
you  ;  but  the  Friend  you  get  will  save  you  from  hell, 
and  bring  ybu  to  eternal  rest. 

Is  it  your  pleasures  that  you  are  afraid  of  losing  ? 
You  thmk  you  shall  never  have  a  merry  day  again, 
if  once  you  be  converted.  Alas,  that  you  should 
think  it  a  greater  pleasure  to  live  in  foolish  sports 
and  merriments  than  live  in  the  love  of  God,  and  in 
righteousness,  and  peace;  and, joy  in  the  Holy  Ghost, 
in  which  the  state  of  grace  consisteth.  If  it  be  a 
greater  pleasure  to  you  to  think  of  your  lands  and 
inheritance,  (if  you  were  lord  of  all  the  country,) 

>    *  Numb,  xxiii.  10.  . .' 

102  A    CALL   TO   THp    tJNCONVERXED. 

tj]?n  it  15  to  a  child  to  p%  for  pins;  >vliy should  it 
not  bei  a  greater  joy  for  you  to  think  of.  the  kingdom 
of  heaven    being  yours,   than   of  all   th^  riches  or 
pleasures  of  the  world  ?  As  it  is  hut  foolish  childishness 
thiat  makes  children  so  delight  in  baubles,  fhst  they 
wpqld  npt  leave  them  for  all  your  landsi,  so  it  is  but 
fopli^h  wprldlinesis  and  wickedness,  that  na^lies  you 
so  much  dplight  in  your  housp^,  l^nds,  meat,  dritik, 
ease,  ^nd  honour,  as  t,b^t  you  nyquld  ppt  part  with 
them  for  the.  heayeply  delights.     But  vvh?t  will  you 
do  for  pleasure,  wheij  these  are  gqpe?  Dq  ypu  not 
thint  qf  that  ?    Wheij  ypur  ple^^spres  ?nd  in  horjqt, 
and  go  out  with  a  Stinking  snuflf,  the  plpfisiires  of  the 
saiuts  ^rP  then  at  the  be^t,     J  h^vp  had  njypielf  but  9 
little  taste  of  the  heavenly  pleasures  in  the  forethpught^ 
qf  the  blessed  ^ppro^phiRg  <Jay>  ^Pd  in  the  present 
persuasions  of  the  Ipvp  of  Go4  in  Chrisit ;  but  I  h?ivp 
ti^^en  top  deep  a  draught  pf  earthly  pjje^surps,  so  that 
you  may  see,  if  I  be  pafti^l,  jt  js  on  ypur  side ;  and 
yet  I  must  profess,  frpn^  that  little  expierience,  th^t 
there  is  no  comparison  :  there  is  more  joy  to  be  had 
in  a  day  (if  the  sun  pf  life  ^\^\ne  clejEt):  upon  us)  in 
the  st9te  pf  holine^ss,  that  in  a  whole  Ijfp  of  sinful 
pl@^syre;s.     I  had  rather  be  q,  door-keeper  in  the  hqme 
qf  Odd,  than  to  dwell  in  the  tenfs  qf  v^ipliednes^ :  a 
day  in  his  cqurts  is.  heft^  thcifi  a  fhqu^ff'ftd  Q'W  whpre 
^Ise.*  ,  The  rair|;h  of  the  wjpked  is  li}^je  thp  l^uigfater 
of  a  madman,  that  kpows  ppt  his  own  ipi^ery ;  and 
therefore  Solomon  sajth  of  such  laughter,  it  is  mq4', 
and  of  mirth,  whcf,t  dotfi,  it  ?'\  ff  is  bfittef  to  go  fp  the 
house  qf  mourning  than  ta  go  tq  thp  hquse  offpqstmg! 
for  that  is  the  end  of  all  men ;  and  fhp  living  will  % 
it  tff  his  heart.     Sorrqw  is  better  than  laughfer ;  fw 
liy  the  sadness  of  the  coi/ntemnce  the  heart  i#  mitd^ 

*  Psal,  Ixxxiv.  10,  t  Efcl«s.  ii.  2, 


better.  The  heart  of  the  wise  is  in  the  home  of 
mourning:  hut  the  heart  of  fools  is  in  the  hxmse 
of  mirth.  It  is  better  to  b^af- thle  rebuke  of  the  wise, 
thin  for  a  man  to  hear  th^  song  of  fools;  fcrr  as  the 
cr&cklihg  of  thorns  under  a  pot,  so  is  the  laughter 
(if  the  fool.  *  All  the  pleasure  of  fleshly  things  is  but 
like  the  scratching  of  a  man  that  has  the  itch:  it  is  his 
disease  that  makes  him  desire  it;  and  a  Wise  man  ha4 
i-ather  be  without  his  pleasure,  than  be  troubled  with, 
his  itch.  Your  loudegt  laughter  is  but  like  that  of  a 
man  that  is  tickled ;  he  laughs  when  he  has  iio  cause 
of  joy ;  and  is  it  a  ^iser  thing  for  a  man  to  give  all 
his  estate,  and  his  life,  to  be  tickled  to  make  hioi 
laugh,  than  for  you  to  part  with  thte  loVe  of  God,  arid 
the  coiiiforts  of  holiness,  ahd  the  hopes  of  Heaven, 
and  to  cast  yourselves  intb  damnation,  that  you  may- 
have  yoUt  flesh  tickled  with  the  pleasure  of  sin  for  a 
little  while?  Judge  as  you  are  nien,  whether  this  be 
a  wi^e  man's  part.  It  is  but  your  carnal  unsahctified 
nature  that  makes  a  holy  life  seem  grievptis  to  you, 
and  a  course  of  setisuality  seem  more  delightful.  If 
yoii  will  but  turn,  the  Holy  Ghost  will  give  you 
another  nature  and  inclination;  and  then  it  will  be 
more  pleasant  to  you  to  be  tid  of  ybur  sin,  than  now 
it  is  to  keep  it:  and  you  will  then  say,  that  you  knew 
not  what  a  comfortable  life  AVas  till  now,  and  that 
it  was  never  well  with  yoU  till  God  and  Holiness 
were  yout  delight. 

Quest.  But  how  comes  it  to  pass,  that  men  should 
be  so  unreasonable  in  the  matters  of  salvation?  They 
have  sense  enough  in  other  matters:  what  maizes 
them  so  loath  to  be  converted,  that  there  should  need 
so  many  Words  in  so  plain  a  case;  and  all  will  not  do, 
but  the  most  will  livb  and  die  unconverted  ? 
*  Eccles.  vii.  2 — 6. 

104  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

Answ.  To  name  them  only  in  a  few  words,  the 
causes  are  these : 

1.  Men  are  naturally  in  love  with  the  earth  and 
flesh ;  they  are  born  sinners,  and  their  nature  has  an 
enmity  to  God  and  goodness,  as  the  nature  of, a 
serpent  has  to  a  man  ;  and  when  all  that  we  can  say 
goes  against  an  habitual  inclination  of  their  natures, 
no  marvel  if  it  little  prevail. 

2.  Thpy  are  in  darkness,  and  Itnow  not  the  very- 
things  they  hear.  Like  a  man  that  was  born  blind, 
and  hears  a  high  commendation  of  the  light;  but 
what  will  hearing  do,  unless  he  sees  it?  They  know 
not  what  God  is ;  nor  what  is  the  power  of  the  cross 
of  Christ;  nor  what  the  Spirit  df  holiness  is;  nor 
what  it  is  to  live  in  love  by  faith:  they  kno\V  not 
the  certainty,  and  suitableness,  and  excellepcy  of  the 
heavenly  inheritance.  They  know  not  what  conver- 
sion, and  a  holy  mind  and  conversation  is,  even  when 
they  hear  of  it.  They  are  in  a  mist  oT  ignorance. 
They, are  lost  and  bewildered  in  sin;  like  a  man  that 
has  lost  himself  in  the  night,  and  knows  not  where 
he  is,  nor  how  to,  come  to  himself  again,  till  the 
daylight  recover  him. 

3.  They  are  wilfully  confident  that  they  need  no 
conversion,  but  spme  partial  amendment;  and  that 
they  are  in  the  way  to  heaven  already,  and  are  con^ 
verted  when  they  are  not.  And  if  you  meet  a  man 
that  is  quite  out  of  his  way,  you  may  long  enough 
call  on  him  to  turn  b^qk  again,  if  he  will  not  believe 
you  that  he  is  out  of  the  way. 

4.  They  are  become,  slaves  to  theii;  flesh,  and 
drowned  in  the  world  to  make  provision  for  it.  Their 
lusts,  and  passions,  and  appetites  have  distracted 
them,  and  got  such  a  hand,  over  them,  that  they 
cannot  tell  how  to  deny  them,  or  how  to  mind  any 

A    CALL    TO   THE    UNCONVERTED.  105 

thing  else;  so  that- the  drunkard  says^  /  Itme  a  cup 
<^good  drink,  and  I  cannot  forbear  it.  The.  giUtton 
says,  I'love  good  cheer^  and  I  cannot  forbear  it.  Thfe 
,  fornicator  says,'  I  Idvei'to  have  nvtf  luat  fuyilled,  and 
I  cannot  forbear.  And  the  gamester  loves  to  have 
his  sports,  and  he  cannot  forbear.  So  that  they  arfe 
becoHae  even  captivated  slaves  to  their  flesh,  and  their 
very  wilfulness  is  become  an  irapotericy;  anS  what 
they  will  not  do,  they  say  they  cannot.  And-thie 
worldling  is  so  taken  *ip  vy^ith  earthly  things^  that  he 
hath  neither  heart,  nor  mind,  nor  time  for  heavenly ; 
but  as.  in  Pharaoh^s  dream.  Gen.  xli.  4.  the  lean  kine 
did  eat  up  the  fat' ones  ;  so  this  lean  and  barren  earth 
doth  eat  up  all  the  thoughts  of  heaven. 

^5.  Some  are  so  carried  away  by  the  stream  of  evil 
company,  that  they  are  possessed  with  hard  thoughts 
of  a  godly  life,  by  hearing  them  speak  Against  \t\  or 
at  least  they  think  they  may  venture  to  do  as  they 
see  most  do,  and  so  they  hold  on  in  tlieir  sinful  ways: 
and  when  one  is  cut  off,  and  cast  into  hell, 'and 
another. snatched  away  from  among  them  to  the  sam6 
condemnation,  it  does  not  much  daunt  them,  because 
they  see  not  whither  they  are  gone.  Poorwretches, 
they  hold  on  in  their  un^dliness,  for  all  this ;  for  they 
little  know  that  their  companions  are  now  lamenting 
it  in  torments!  In  Luke  xvi,  the  rich  man  in  hell 
would  fain  have  had  one  to  warn  his  five  brethren, 
lest  they  should  come  to  that  place  of  torment!  It  is 
likely  he  knew  their  minds  and  lives,  and  knew  that 
they  were  hasting  thither,  and  little  thought  that  he 
was  there,  yea,  and  would  little  have  beli^eved  one 
that  should  have  told  them  so. 

6.  Moreover  they  have  a  subtle,  malicious  enemy, 
that  is  unseen  of  them,  and  plays  his  game  in  the 
dark ;  and  it  is  his  principal  business  to  hinder  their 

106  A    CAIiL    TO   THJE    UNCONVERTED. 

conversion  ;  and  therefore  to  keep  tbem  where  they 
are,  by  persuading  them  not  to  believe  the  scri|)ttireiSi 
or  not  to  trouble  their  rainds  with  these  matters;  Or 
by  persuading  them  to  think  ill  of  a  godJy  life;  or  to 
think  that  it  is  more  ado  than  needs,  and  that  they 
may  be  saved  without  conversion, ^nd  without  all 
this  stir:  and  that  God  is  so  merciful,  that  he  will 
not  damn  any  such  as  they:;  or  at  least,  that  they 
may  stay  a  little  longer,  and  take  their  pleasure,  and 
follow  the  world  a  little*  longer  yet,  and  then'  let  it 
go,  and  repent  hereafter.  And  by  such  jugglihg, 
deluding  cheats  as  thesfe^  the  devil  keeps  the  most  in 
his  captivity,  and  leadeth  them  to  his  misery. 

These,  and  such  like  impedijnenlis  as  these ;  keep 
so.  many  thousands  unconverted,  when  God  has  done 
so  much,  and  Christ  liath  suffered  so  tiiucb,  and 
ministers  have  said  so  much  for  their  conversion; 
when  their  reasons  are  silenced^and  they  are  not  able 
to  answer  the  liord  that  calls  after  them,  Turn  ye, 
ttirn  ye ;  why  uofll  ye  die  ?  yet  ail  comes  to  nothing 
with  the  greatest  part  of  them ;  arad  tiiey  leave  us  no 
more  to  do  after  all,  but  to  sit  down  and  lament  their 
wilful  misery. 

I  have  now  showed  you  the  reasonableness  of 
God's  compaands,  and  the  unreasonableness'ojf  <wicked 
men's. disobedience.  If  nothing  iwjll  sjenve^  but  men 
will  yet  refuse  to  turn,  we  are  neacit  to  consJde*  who 
it  is  owiijg  to,  if  they  be  damned. 



i/)  after  all  this,  men  will  ruff  turn,  it  is  not  owing 
''',!porf  thattkey  are  condemned,  but  of  themselves, 
^fi  *^^t  ^if^^^^^ifutness.     They  Hie  became  they 
f^M^^^'  thai  is,  because  they  will  not  turn. 

If  jroo  will  go  to  hell,  what  remedy!  God  here 
aCq»its  himself  of  your  blood:  it  shall  not  lie  on 
him,  if^lost:  A  negligent  minister  may  draw 
it  ttfon  himself;  and  those  that  encowrage-  you,  or 
hinder  you  notin  sin,  may  draw  it  upon  themselves: 
but  6e  sure  of  it,  it  shall  not  lie  upon  God.  The  Lord 
says  con«^rn(ing  ihis  unprofitable  vineyard,  Jwrfg!*; 
I  pray  yfm^,  betwixt  me  and  my  vineyard,  What 
cXmld  hatie  been  doAemore  to  my. /vineyard,  that  Iktmi 
mjidQim^k  it?*  .What  could  he  have  done  more? 
Hie\bas.  made  you  mert-,  and  endued  you  with  reason: 
he  has  fornistoed  Jrou  with  all  eKternal  necessaries, 
aU  creatures  are  at  your  service;  he  has  given  you 
a  Hgihteous,  perfect  law.  When  you  had  broken  at; 
and  undonre  yo-urselwes,  he  h^d  pity  on  you,  and  sent 
bis  Sonr,  by  a  miracle  of  condescending  mercy,  to  die 
foTiyiou^  and  bea  sacrifice  for  your  sins,  and  ke'tc'asiH 
Chvist  ireetmeiling  the  world  unto  hjtMself.  The  Lord 
Jesus  has  made,  you  a  deed,  of  gift  of  himself,  and 
eternal  life  with  him,  on  the  condition  you  will' but 
Accept  it,  Etnd  return.  He  has  on  this  reasonable 
condition  offered  you  the  free  pardon  of  all  your  sins-; 
be  has  writtett  this  in  his  word,  and  sealed  i^by  his 
Spirit,  and  sent  it  you  by  his  ministers:  theyhasve 
made  the  offier  to. you  a  hundredv  and  a  hundred 
times,  and  called  you  to  accept  it,  and  turn  to  Godi 
They  have  in  his  name  entreated  you,  and  reasohed 
•   *  Isa,  V,  3;  4. 

108  At  CALL   TO    THE    UNiCOUTERTED. 

the  case  with  you,  and  answered  all  youf  frivolous 
objections.  He  Jias'  lofig  iwaited  '6h  you,  and  staid 
your  leisure,  and  suffered  you  to  abuse.him  .tp  his 
race.  He  has  merc^ifully  sustained  yqujn.ther^idst 
of  your  sins;  he  lias  .compassei|y.ybu  about  with  all 
sorts  of  mercies;  he  has  also  intermixed  amictiopsto 
remind  you  of  yoiir  tolly)  andcaltybu  to  your  senses: 
and  his  Spirithasbieen'often  stfiviilg'Witli  yourhearts, 
and  saying,  "  Turn,  ;:iinner,.ta'rn  to  him.  that!  e^lls 
thee:  Whither  art  thou  going  ?  What  art  thou  doing? 
Dost  thou"  know  what  will  be  the  end  ?  How'losngi 
wilt  thou  hate  thy  friends,  and  love  thine  enemies:? 
When  wilt  thou  liSt  go  all,  and  turn,  and  deliver  up 
ttryself  to  God,  and  give  thyRedeemer  the -possession 
of  thy  soul?  'When  shall  it  once  be  ?"  These  pleadings 
have  been  Used  with  thee:';and  when'  thou  hast 
detayed, '  thou  hast  been  urged  to  make  haste,  and 
God  has  called,  to  these.  To-day,  wMle  iti  is  called 
to-day ,  haipdem,  not  yoiM-'  heart::  Why  not  now^  witfumi. 
any  more  delay?  Life  'has wbeen  set  before  you'; 
ttie  joys  of  heaven  have 'been  Opened  to  you  in  the 
^spel ;  the  certainty  of  them  has  been  manifested  ;^ 
the  certainty  of  the  everlasting  torments  of  the  damhed 
has'been  declared  to  you.  Unless  you  would, have 
had  <ai  sight  of  heavfen  aiid  hell,  what  could  yoii 
have  desired  more?  Christ  has  been,  as  it  were^  set 
forth  crucified  before  your  eyes.-^  You  have  been 
a  hundred  times  told,  that  you  are  but  lost  men  till 
you  come  to  him:  as  often  you  have  heen  told  of 
the  evil  of  sin,  of  the  vanity  of  sin,  the  world  and 
all  the  pleasures  and  wealth  it  can  afford ;  of  the 
shortness  and  uncertainty  of  your  lives,  and  the  endless 
duration  of  the  joy  or  torment  of  the  life  to  come. 
•All  this,  and  more  than  this,  have  you'been  told,  and 
told  again,  even  till  you  were  weary  of, 

A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED-  109 

and  till  you  could  make  the  lighteF  of  it,  l]>eGauseyou 
had  so  often  beard  it,  like  tlie  smith's  dog,  that  is 
brought  by  custom  to  sleep  under  the  noise  of  the 
hammers,  even  when  the' sparks  fly  about  his  ears; 
and  though  all  this  has  not  converted  you,  yet  you 
are  alive,  and  might  have  mercy,  this  day,  if  you  had 
but  hearts  to  entertain  it.  ■  And  now  let  reason  itself 
be  judge, — whether  it  be  owing  to  God.  or  you,  if 
after  all  this  you  will  be  unconverted  and  be'danined? 
If  you  'die  now,  it  is  .because  you  will  die.  What 
could  be  said  more  to  you ;  or  what  course  can  be 
taken;  that  is  likelier  to  prevail  ?  Are  you  able  to  say, 
and  Inake  it  good,  We  would fain.hav€  been  converted, 
and  become  new  creatures,  but  we  could  not;  we  would 
jfkin  have  Jbrsaken  our  shis,  but,  we  could  not;  we 
would  have  changed  our  company,  and  our  thoughts^ 
and  our  discourse,  but  we  could  not?  Why  could  you 
not,  if  you  would  ?  ■  What  hindered  you,  but  the 
wickedness  of  your  hearts  ?  Who  forced  you  to  sin  ? 
Or  who  held  you  back  from  duty  ?  Did  God  put  in 
khy  exceptions  against  you  in  his  word,  when  he 
invited  sinners  to  return;  and  when  he  promised 
mercy  to  those  who  do  return?  Did  he  say,  I  will 
pardon  all  that  repent,  except  thee  ?  Did  he  shut  you 
out  from  the  liberty  of  his  holy  worship  ?  Did  he 
forbid  you  to  pray  to  him  any  more  than  others? 
You  know  he  did  not.  God  did  not  drive  you  away, 
from  him,  but  you  forsook  hitii,  and  ran  away  your- 
selves;  and. when  he  called  you  to  him,  you  would 
not  come.  If  God  had  excepted  you  out  of  the 
general  promise  and  offer  of  mercy;  or  had  said  to 
you.  Stand  off ;  I  willhtwe  nothing  to  do  imth  such 
as  you ;  pray  not  to  me,  for  I  will  not  hear  you ;  if 
you  repent  ever  so  much,  I  will  not  regard  you ;  then 
you  had  had  a  fair  excuse.    You  might  have  said, 


To  what  end  should  I  repent  and  turn,  when  it  will 
do  no  good  ?  But  this  was  not  your  case.  You  n)igh:fi 
have  hatt  Christ  to  be  your  Lord  and  Saviour,  youri 
Head  and  Husband,  as  well  as  others,  and  you  would 
not,  because  you  felt  not  yourself  sick  enough 'for 
the  pbysiciatt;  because  you  could  not  ^pareryout 
disease.  In  your  hearts  you  said  as  those  rebels,  W6 
will  not  have  this  man  io  teign  over  us.*  ■  Christ 
would  ;have  gathered  you  under  the  wings  of  his 
salvation,  and  you  would  not.  .What  desires  of  yoUr 
welfare  did  the  Lord  express  in  his  holy  word  !  With 
what  compassion  did  be  stand  over  you,  and  say, 'Q 
that  nny>  people  had  hearkened  unto  me,  and  that  they 
h^  walked  >in  my  ways !.  O  that  ihere  were  aiich 
a  heajitin  this  people^  tbat  tbey  would  fear  me,  and 
keep  all  my  commandments  always^  that  it  mjghtbe 
well  with  them,  and  with,  their  children  for  ev'er  ! 
O  that  they  were  wise,  that  they  understood- this  i 
and  tliat  they  would  consider  their.latter  endi!  He 
would  have  been  your  God,  and  done  ail  for  you  that 
your  souls  could  desire ;  but  you  loved  the  world 
and  yoiir  flesh  above  him,  and  theirefore- you  would 
not  hearken  to  him:  though  you  complimented  with 
him^,  and  gave  him  high  titles,  yet  when  it  came  to 
the  cldsing,  you  would  have  none  of  him.  No  marvel 
then  if  he  gave  you  up  to  youi-  own  hearts'  lusts,  a«d 
you  walked  in  your  own  counsels^  He  coiiijesSGends 
to  reason,  and  pleads  the  case  with  you,  and  asks 
you,  "  What  is  there  in  me,  or  my  service,  that  you 
should  be  so  much  against  me?  ?  What  harm  have  I 
done  thee,  sinner?  Have  I  deserved  this  unkind 
dealing  at  thy  hand?  Many  mercies  have  I  showed 
thee:  for  which  of  them  dost  thou  thus' despise  me  ? 
Js  it  I,  or  is  it  Satan,  that  is  thy  enepy  ?  Is  it  I,  or  is 
*  'Luk«  xix.  14. 


it  thyself,  that  would  undo  thee?    Is  it  a  holy  life, 
or  a  life  of  sin,  which  thou  hast  cause  to  fly  from  ? 
If  thou  be  undone,  thou 'procurest  this  to  thyself,  by 
forsaking  me,  the  Lord,  that  would  -have  saved  thee." 
De  ye  thus  requite  the  Lord,  O  foolish  people,  and 
unwise?     Is  not   he  thy  father,   that  hath   bought 
thee  9    Hath  he  not  made  thee,  and  established  thee  ?* 
When  he  saw  that  you  forsook  him,  even  for  nqt^ing, 
and  turned  away  from  the  Lord,  to  hunt  after  the 
chaff" and  feathers  of  the  world,  he  told  you  your  folly, 
atid  called  you  to  a' more  profitable  employment. — 
Wherefore  do  ye  spend  money  for  that  which  is  not 
bread,  and  your  labour  for  that  which  satisfieth  not  9 
Hearken  diligently  unto  me,  and  eat  ye  that  which 
i*  good,  and  let  your  soul  delight  itself  in  fatness^ 
Incline  your  ear,  and  come  unto  me :  hear,  and  yomr 
soul  shall  live;  and  I  will  make  an  everlasting  covenant 
with  ffoUj'  even  ihe  sure^  mercies  of  David:^     And 
when  ye  would  not  hear,  what  complaints  have  you 
put  him  to,  charging  it  on  you  as  yoiit  wilfulness 
and  stubbornness  ?    Be  astonished,  O  ye  heavens,  at 
this,  and  be  horribly  afraid.  -  For  tny  people  have 
committed  two  evils:   they  have  forsaken  me,  the 
Fountain   of  living   waters,  and   heiwed   them  out 
cisterris,  broken   cisterns  that  can  hold  no  water. 
Many  a  time  has  Christ  proclaimed  that  free  invi- 
tation to  you — Let  Mm  that  is  at  hirst,  come;  and 
whosoever  will,  let  him  take  of  the  water  of  life 
f¥'eely.%S  But  you  oblige  him  to  complain,  after  all 
his  offers.     They  will  not  come  to  me,  that  they  nuty 
have  life.^    He  has  invited  you  to  a  feast  with  him  in 
the  kingdom  of  his  grace:  and  you  have  had  excuses, 
from  your  grounds,  and  your  cattle,  and  your  worldly 

*  Deut.  %xxi\.  6.       '  t  Isa.  Iv.  2, '3. 

X  Rev.  xxii.  17»  '§  John  v.  40. 


business;  and  when  you  would  not  come,. you  Said 
you  could  not ;  and  provoked  him  to  resolve,  that  you 
should  never  taste  of  his  supper.  And  whose  fault 
is  it  now,  but  your  own  ?  And  what  can  you  say  is 
the  chief  cause  of  your  damnation,  but  yoin  own 
wills?    You  would  be  damned. 


1.  From  hence  you  may  see,  not  only  what  blas- 
phemy and  impiety  it  is,  to  lay  the  blame  of  men's 
destruction  upon  God ;  but  also  how  unfit  these 
wicked  wretches  are  to  bring  in  such  a  charge  against 
their  Maker.  They  cry  out  against  God,  and  say^  He 
gives  them  not  grace,  and  his  threatenings  are  severe; 
and  God  forbid  that  all  should  be  damned  that  are 
not  converted :  and  they  think  it  hard  measure  that 
a  short  sin  should  have  an,  endless  suffering;  and  if 
they  be  damned,  they  say.  they  cannot  help  it :  whea 
in  the  meantime,  they  are  busy  about  their  own 
destruction,  even  cutting  the  throat  of  their  own  souls, 
and  will  not  be  persuaded  to  hold  their  hands.  They 
think  God  would  be  cruel,  if  he  should  damn  them; 
and  yet  fhey  are  so  cruel  to  themselves,  that  they: will 
run  into  the  fire  of  bell,  when  God  has  told  them  it 
is  a  little  befofe  them:  and  neither  entreaties  nor 
threatenings,  nor  any  thing  that  can  be  said,  will  stop 
them.  We  see  them  almost  undone;  their  careless 
worldly  .lives  tell  us  that  they  are  in  the  power  of  the 
devil :  we  know,  if  they  die  before  they  are  converted^ 
all  the  world  cannot  save  them;  and  knowing  the 
uncertainty  of  their  lives,  we  are  afraid  every  day 
lest  they  drop  into  the  fire.  And  therefore  we  entreat 
them  to  pity  their  own  souls,  and  not  to  undo  them- 
selves when  mercy  is  at  hand  ;  and  they  will  not  hear 

A    CALt   TO    THE   UNCONVKRtED.  113 

US.  We  entreat  them  to  cast  away  their  sin,  and 
come  to  ^Christ  without  delay,  and  to  have  some 
mercy  on  themselves;  but  they  will  have  none..  And 
yet  they  think  that  God  must  be  cruel,  if  he  condemn, 
them.  O  wilfulj -wretched  sinners !a  It  is  not  God 
that  is  cruel,  to.  you :  it  is  you  that  are  cruel  to 
yourselves.  You  are  told  that  you  must  turn  or 
burn;  and  yet  you  turn  not.  )You  are  told,  that  if 
you  will  keep  your  sins,  you  shall  keep  the  curse  of 
God  with  them;  and  yet  you  will  keep  them.  YoU 
are  told,  that  therefis  no  way  to  hjippiness,  but  .by 
holiness;  and  yet  you  will  not  be  holy.  What  would 
you  have  God  .say  more  to  y>ou  ?  What  wQuld  you 
have  him  do  witb  his  mercy  ?  He  ofiFers  it  you,  and 
you  will  not  have.  it.  You  are  in  the  ditch  of  sin 
and  misery,  and  he  would  give  you  his  hand  to 
help  you  oijtf  and  you  refuse  his  help:  he  wotild 
cleanse  you  from,  your  sinsj  and  you  would  rather 
keep  them;  Would  you  have,  him  bring  you  to 
heaven,  whether  you  will  or  no  ?  or  would  you  have 
him  bring  you  and  your  sins  to  heaven  together? 
Why,  that  is  an  impossibility;  you  may  as  well  expetJt 
that  he  should  turn  the  sun  into  darkness.  What  1 
an  unsanctified  heart  to  be  in  heaven!  It  cannot  be : 
^here  nothing  entereth  that  is  unclean.  All  the  day- 
long hath  he  stretched  out  his  hand  to  a  disobedient 
and  gainsaying  people.  What  will  you  do  now  ? 
Will  you  cry  to  God  for  mercy  ?>  Why,  God  calls  upon 
you  to  have  mercy  upon  yourselves,  and  you  will  not.  t 
Ministers  see  the  poisoned  cup  in  the  drunkard's 
hands,  and  tell  him.  There  is  poison  in  it,  and  desire 
him  to  have  mercy  on  his  soul,  and  forbear;  and  he 
will  not  hear  us:  drink  it  he  must  and  will;  he  loves 
it;  and  therefore,  though  hell  comes  next,  he  says  he 
cannot  help  it.    What  diould  one  say  to  such  men 


114  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

as  these  ?    We  tell  the  ungodly,  It  is  mpt  such  a  life 
that  will  serve  the  turn,  or  evef  bring:  yauto  heaven. 
If  a  bear  was  at  your  back,  you  would  mend^  your 
pace;  and  when  the  curse, of  God  is  at  your  back,  and 
Satan  and  hell  Ore  at  your  back,  will  you  not  stir,  but 
ask,  what  needs' all  this  ado?    Is  an  immortal  soul 
of  no  more  worth  ?    O  have  Mercy  <  upon  yourselves  ! 
But  they  will  have  ho  mercy  on  themselves,  nor  once 
regard  us.:   We  tell  them,  the  end.  will  be;  bittern 
"  Whocan  dwell  with eiverlastio^fire?"  Andyetthey 
will  have  no  mercy  upon  themselves-    And  will  these 
shameless  wretches  say,  that  God  is  more  merciful 
than  to  condemn  them,  when  it  is  themsdvea  that 
cruelly  run  upon  condemnation;  an^  if  we  should 
go  to  them  with  our  hats  in  our  handis,  and  entreat 
them,  we  cannot  st6pjhem.>    If  we  fall  down  on  our 
knees  to  tbem,  we  cannot  stop  them:   but  to  hell 
thesy  will  go,  and  yet  will  not  believe  that  they  are 
going  thither.     If  we  beg.  of  them,  for  the  sake  of 
God.  that  made  tbetn,.  and  preserves  them  ;  ,for  the 
sake  of  Christ  who  died  for  them,;  for  the  sake  of 
their  own  poor  souls^  to  pity  themselves,  and  to  go 
no  further  in  t]iie„  way  to., hell,,  but  come  to  Christ 
while  his  arms  are  open,  and  enter  into. the  state  of 
life  while  the  door  stands  open^  and  now  take  mercjs, 
while  mercy  may  be  had ;  they  will  not  beipersuaded. 
And  yet  they  say;  1  hope  God,  will  be  merciful. 
Did  yoiii  never  consider  what  he  says,  It  is  a  people 
of  no  understanding :  therefore  he  thut  made  them 
will  not  have '  mercy ^  on  them ;   and  he  that,  formed 
them,  will  show  them  no  f avow.*  ,If  aiioUjer,  man  will 
not  clothe  you  when,: you  are  naked,  and  feed  you 
when  you  are  hungry,  you  will  say  be. is  unmercifuU 
If  he  should  cast  you  into  prisoovOi'  Nat  and  tormep,t 
*  Isa.  xxVii.  IK 


you,  you  would  say  he  is  unmerciful.  And  yet  you 
will  do  a  thoilsand  times  mojte  against  yourselves, 
and  even  cast  away  both  soul  and  body  for,  ever,  and 
never  domplaitl  of  your  own  unmercifulness.  Yea, 
and  God  who  waited  upon  you  all  the  while  with  his 
mesoyi  muist  be  taken  to  be,  unmerciful,  if  he  punish 
you  after  ail  this.  Unless  the  holy  God  of  heaven 
wilt  give  these  wretches,  leave  to  trainple  upon  his 
Son's  blood,:  and  with  the  Jevvs,  as, it  were,  again  to 
spit  in  his  face,  do  despite  tb  the  Spirit  of  grace,  and 
set  more  lightly  by-saving  mercy  than  by  the  filth  of 
their  fleshly  pleasures;  and  unless  after  air  this  he 
will  save  them  by  the  merCy  which  they  cast  away, 
God  himself  must  be  called  unmerciful.  But  he  will 
be  justified  when  he  judgeth  :  and  he  will  not  stand 
or  fall  at  the  bar  of  a  sinful  worm. 

i  know  there  are  many  partieular  cavils  that  are 
brought  by  them  against  the  Lord;  but'l  shall  not 
her©  sfcay  to  answer  them  particularly,  having  done  it 
already  iri  my.  Treatise  of  Judgment,  to  which  I  shall 
refer  them.  ,Had  the  disputing  part  of  the  world 
been  i^  careful  to  air oid  sin  and  destruction  as  they 
have  been  busy  in  searching  after  the  cause  of  them, 
and  forward  indirectly  to  impute  it  to  Gx)d,  they 
might  have  exercised  their  wits  more  profitably,  and 
have  less  wronged  God,  and  sped  better  themselves. 
When  so  ugly  a  monster  as  ^in  is  within  us,  and 
so  heavy  a  thing  as  punishment  is  on  qs,  and  so 
dreadfu/l  a  thing  as  Hell  is  before  us,  one  would  think 
it  should  be  an  easy  question.  Who  is'  in  the  fault, 
whether  God  or  man  be  the  principal  or  culpable 
cause?  Some  men  are  such  favourable  judges  of 
themselves,  that  they  are  proner  to  accuse  the  infinite 
perfection  and  goodness  itself  than  their  own  hearts, 
and  imitate  their  first  parents,  that  said,  the  serpent 

116  A    CALL    TO   THE    tJlJCONVERTED. 

tempted  me ;  and  the  womanjhat  thou  gavest  me  gccoe 
unto  me,  and  I  did  eat;  secretly  implying  that  God 
was  the  cause.  So  say  they,  the  understanding  that 
thou  gavest  me  was  unable  to  distem;  the  will  that  thou 
gavest  me  was  unable  to  make  a  better  choice;  the 
objects  which  thtiu  didst  set  before  me  did  entice  me; 
the  temptations  which  thou  didst  permit  to  assault 
me,  prevailed  against  me.  And  some  are  so  loath  to 
think  that  God  can  ntake  a  self-determining  creature, 
that  they  dare  not  deny  him  that  which  they  take  to 
be  his  prerogative,  to  be  the  determirier  of  the  will  in 
every  sin,  as  the  first  efficient  immediate  physical 
cause ;  and  many  could  be  content  to  acquit  God  from 
so  much  causing  of  evil,  if  they  could  but  reconcile 
it  with  his  being  the  chief  cause  of  good,  as  if  truths 
would  be  no  longer  truths  than  we  are  able  to  see 
them  in  their  perfect  order  and  coherence ;  because 
our  ravelled  vvits  cannot  see  them  right  together,  nor 
assign  each  truth  its  proper  place,  we  presume  to 
conclude  that  some  must  be  cast  away.  This  is  the 
fruit,  of  proud  self-conceitedness,  when  men  receive 
not  God's  truth  as  a  child  his  lesson,  in  holy  sub- 
mission to  the  omniscience  of  our  Teacher,  but  as 
censurers,  that  are  too  vvise  to  learn. 

Object.  But  we  cannot  convert  ourselves  till  God 
convert  us;  we  can  do  nothing  without  his  grace;  it 
is  not  in  him  that  willeth,  nor  in  him  tbat  runneth, 
but  in  God  that  showeth  mercy. 

Ans;  God  hath  two'degrees  of  mercy  to  show  : — the 
mercy  of  conversion  first,  and  the  mercy  of  salvation 
last:  the  latter  he  will  give  to  none  but  those  that 
will  and  run,  and  hath  promised  it  to  them  only  :  the 
former  is  to  make  them  willing  that  were  unwilling; 
and  though  your  own  willingness  and  endeavours 
{ieserve  not  his  grace,  yet  your  wilful  refusal  deservetb 

A    CALL   TO    THE   UNCONVERTED.  117 

that  it  should  be  denied  to  you.  Your  disability  is 
your  very  unwillingness  itself,  which  excuses  notyour 
sins,  but  makes  it  the  greater.  You  could  turn  if  you 
were  but  truly  willing;  and  if  your  wills  themselves 
are  so  corrupted,  that  nothing  but  eflfectual  grace 
will  move  them,  you  have  the  more  cause  to  seek  for 
that  grace  and  yield  to  it,  and  do  what  you  can  in  the 
use  of  means,  and  not  neglect  it  and  set  against  it. 
Do  what  you  are  able  first ;  and  then  complain  of 
God  for  denying  you  graccj  if  you  have  cause.  ' 

Object.  But  yofl  seem  to  intimate  all  this  while 
that  man, hath  free-will.. 

Answ.  The  dispute  about  free-will  is  beyond  your 
capacity;  I  shall  therefore  now  trouble  you  with, no 
more  but  this  about  it.  Your  will  is  naturally  a  free, 
that  is,  a  self-determining  faculty;  but  it  is  viciously 
inclined,  and  backward  to  do  good  :  and  therefore  we 
see,  by  sad  experience,  that  it  has  nojb  a  virtuous 
moral  freedom ;  but  that  it  is  the  wickedness  of  it 
which  deserves  the  punishment;  aud  I  pray  yOu,  let 
us  not  befool  oursel^^es  with  opinions.  Let  the  case 
be  your  own.  If  you  had  an  enemy  that  was  so 
malicious,  that  he  falls  upon  you  and  beats  you  every 
time  he  meets  you,  and  takes  away  the  lives  of  your 
children;  will  you  excuse  him  because  he  saith  I  have 
not  free-will,  it  is  my  nature;  I  cannot  choose,  unless 
God  give  me  grace:  If  you  have  a  servant,  that  robbeth 
you,  will  you  take  such  an  answer  from  him  ?  Might 
not  every  thief  and  murderer  give  such  an  answer : 
I  have  not  free-will ;  I  cannot  change  my  own  heart ; 
what  can  I  do  without  God's  grace  ?  And  shall  they 
therefore  be  acquitted  ?  If  not,  why  then  should  you 
think  to  be  acquitted  for  a  course  of  sin  against  the 

Lord  ? 
fl.  From  hence  you  may  observe,  1.  What  a  subtle 

118  A    CAUt,    TO   THE    UNCONVERTED. 

tempter  Satan  is.  2t:  What 'a  deceitful  thing  Sin  isi 
3.  What  a  foolish  creature  corrupted  man  is. — A  subtle 
tempter  indeed,'  that  caa  persuade  the  greatest  part 
of  the  world  to  go  wilfully  into  everlastitig  fire,  when 
they  have  so  many  "warnings  and  dissuasives !  A 
deceitful  thing  is  sin  indeed,  that  can  bewitch' so 
many  thousands  to  part  with  everlasting  life,  for  a 
thing  so  base  and  utterly  unworthy !  A  foolish  creature 
is  man,  that  will  be  cheated  of  his  salvation,  for 
nothing,  yea,  for  a  ikaowit  nothing  ;■  and  that  by  an 
enemy,  and  a  knbwn  enemy!  You  would  think  it 
impossible  that  any  man  should  be  persuaded  for 
alittle  to  cast  himself  into  the  fire,  or- water,  to  the 
destruction  of  his  life;  and  yet  merl  will  be  enticed 
to  cast  themselves  into  hell.  If  your  natural  lives 
were  in  your  own  handsi,  so  that  you  should  not  die 
till  you  would  kill  yoturseives,  bow  loiig  would  most 
of'yau  livei  And  yet  when  your  eveilasting  life  is 
so  far  in  your  bands  under  God,  thatyoU  cannot  be 
undone  till  you  undo  yourselves,  how^'^wof  you  will 
forbear  your  undoing !  Ah,  what  a  silly  thing  is  man ! 
and  what  a  bewitching  and  befooling  thing  is  sin! 

3.  From  hence  alsoi  you  may  leairn,  that  it  is  no 
great  wonder  if  wicked  men  be  hinderers  of  others  in 
the  way  to  heaven,  and' would  have  as  tnany  uncon- 
verted as  they  can,  and  would  draw  them  into  sin, 
and  keep^  theiti  in  it.  Can  you  expect  that,  they 
should  have  mercy  on  others,  that  have  none  upon 
themselves?  And  that  they  should  much  stick  at 
the  destruction  of  others,  that  stick  not  to  destroy 
themselves  ?  They  do  no  worse  by  athers  than  they 
do  by  themselves. 

Lastly,  You  may  hence  learn,  that  the  greatest 
enemy  to  man,  is  himself;  and  the  greatest  judgment 
in  this  life  thatipan  befal  him,  is  to  be  left  to  himself; 

A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCOSVERIED,  119 

and  that  the  great  work  which  Christ  has  to  do,  is  to 
save  us  from  ourselves ;  and  the  greatest  accusations 
^nd  complaints  of  men  should  he  Etgainst  them- 
selves ;  and  that  the  greatest  .work  that  we  have  to 
do  ourselves,  is  to  resist  ourselves ;  and  the  greatest 
enemy  which  we  should  daily  pray,  and  watch,  and 
strive  against,  is  our  own  hearts  and  wills ;  and  the 
greatest  part  of  our  work,  if  we  would  do  good  to 
others,  a^d  help,  them  to  heavep,  is  to  save  them 
from  themselves,— even  from  their  own  blin4  under- 
standing, and  corropt  wills,  and  perverse  affections, 
and  violent  pasaions,  and  unruly,  senses:  I  only 
name  all  these  for  brevity's  sake,  and  leave  them  to 
your  further  congideratioo. 

Well,  now  we  have  found  out  the  great  murderer 
of,  souls,  (even, men's  selves,  their  own  wills,)  what 
remains  but  that  you  confess  this  great  iniquity 
before  the  Lord,  and  be  humbled  for  it,  and, do  so 
no  more  ?  Tq  >tbfse  .three  ends  d,istinctly,  I  shall 
add  a.few  wprds  more.  1,  Further  to  convince  you. 
3.  To  humble  you.     And,  3.  To  reform  you.    i 

1.  We  know  so  much  of  the  exceeding  gracious 
nature  of  God,  who  is  willing  to  do  good,  and  delights 
to  show  mercy,  that  we  have  no  reason  to  suspect 
him  of  being  the;  cause  of  our  death,  or  to  call  him, 
cruel.  He  made  all  good,  and  he  preserves  and. 
maintains  all;  the.eyes  of  all  things  ,^ait  upon  hjm, 
aR(l  hf  gives  them  their  meat  in  good  season;  he 
opens  bis  hand,  and  satisfies  the  desires  of  all  the 
living.  Hq  ;is  not  only  righteous  in  all  his  ways,,  (and 
therefore, will  deal  justly,)  and  hiply  in  all  his  works 
and  therefore  not  the  author  qf  sin,)  ,bii,t  he  is  also  good 
to  all ;  and  bistepder  mercies  are  qver  all  hisworks. 

Rut  as  for  man,  we  know  his  mind  is  dark,  his  will 
is  perverse,  his  afFe<?tipns  carry  bim  so  headlong,  that 

120  A    CALL    TO    THE   UNCONVERTED, 

he  is  fitted  by  his  folly  and  corruption  to  such  a  work 
as  the  destroying  of  hitnself.  Let  no  man  say],  when 
he  is  tempted,  I  am  tempted  of  God;  for  God  cannot 
be  tempted  with  evil,  neither  tempteth-he  any  man,  (to 
draw  him  to  sin,)  but  evet'y  man  is  tempted  when  he 
is  drawn  away  of  his  own  hist,  and  enticed.  Then, 
when  iust  hath  concdved,  it  hringeth  forth  sin ;  and 
sin,  when  it  is fnished,  bringeth- forth  death.*  You 
see  here,. that  siti  is  the  brat  of  your  own  concupis- 
cence; and  that  death  is  the  offspring  of  your' own 
sin,  and  the  fruit  which  it  will  yield  you  as  soon  as 
it  is  ripe. — ^You  have  a  treasure  of  evil  in  yourselv^, 
as  a  spider  hath  of  poison,  from  whence  you  are 
bringing  forth  hurt  to  yourselves,  and  spinning  such 
webs  as  entangle  your  own  souls."^ 

2.  It  is  evident  that  you  are  your  own  destroyers, 
iti  that  you  are  so  ready  to  entertain  any  temptation 
that  is  offered.  Satan  is  scarce  readier  to  •  move  you 
to  any  evil,  than  you  are  ready  to  do  as  he  would 
have  you.  If  he  would  tempt  your  iinderstanding 
to  error  and  prejudice,  you  yield  ;  if  he  would  hinder 
you  from  good  resolutions,  it  is  soon  done ;  if  he 
would  kindle  any  vile  affection  or  dfesire  in  you,  it  is 
soon  done ;  if  he  would  drive  you  on  to  evil  thoughts, 
or  deeds,  you  are  so  free,  that  he  needs  no  spur ;  if 
he  would  keep  you  from  holy  thoughts,  and  words,. 
and  ways,  a  little  does  it,  you  need  no  curb.  You 
examine  not  his  suggestions,  nor  resist  them  with 
any  resolution,  nor  cast  them  out  as  he  casts  them 
in,  nor  quench  the  sparks  which  he  endeavours  to 
kindle;  but  set  in  with  him,  and  meet  him  half-way, 
and  embrace  his  motions,  and  tempt  liim  to  tempt 
you.  And  it  is  edsy  to  catch  such  greedy  fisfi  that 
are  ranging  for  a  bait,  and  will  take  the  bare  hooW. 
*  James  i.  13>  U,  15. 


3.  Your  destruction  is  evidently  owing  to  your- 
selves, in  that  you  resist  all  who  would  help  to  save 
you.  God  would  help  and  save  you  by  his  word, 
and  you  resist  it ;  it  is  too  strict  for  you.  He  would 
sanctify  you  by  his  Spirit,  but  y6u  resist  and  quench 
it.  If  any  man  reprove  you  for  your  sin,  you  fly  in 
his  face  with  evil  words ;  if  he  tell  you  of  your  danger, 
you  give  him  little  thanks,  but  either  bid  him  look  to 
himself,  or,  at  best,  put  him  off  with  heartless  thanks. 
If  ministers  would  privately  instruct  and  help  you, 
you  will  not  coiAe  to  them ;  your  unhumbled  souls 
feel  but  little  need  of  their  help;  if  they  would 
catechise  you,  you  are  too  old  to  he  catechised, 
though  you  are  not  too  old  to  be  ignorant  and  unholy. 
Whatever  they  can  say  to  you  for  your  good,  you  are 
so  self-conceited  and  wise  in  your  own  eyes,  even  in 
the  depth  of  ignorance,  that  you  will  regard  nothing 
that  agrees  not  with  your  present  conceits,  but  con- 
tradict your  teachers,  as  if  you  were  wiser  than  they; 
you  resist  all  that  they  say  to  you  by  your  ignorance, 
and  wilfulness,  and  foolish  cavils,  and  shifting  evasions, 
and  unthankful  rejections,  so  that  no  good  that  is 
offered  can  find  any  welcome  acceptance  and  enter- 
tainment with  you. 

4.  Moreover,  it  is  apparent  that  you  are  self-de- 
stroyers, in  that  you,  draw  the  matter  of  your  sin 
and  destruction,  even  from  the  blessed  God  himself. 
You  like  not  the  contrivances  of  his  wisdom;  you 
like  not  his  justice,  but  take  it  for  cruelty;  you  like 
not  his  holiness,  but  are  ready  to  think  he  is  such 
a  one  as  youbelves,  and  makes  as  light  of  sin  as 
you;  you  like  not  his  truth,  but  would  have  his 
it^ireatenings,  even  his  peremptory  threatenings,  prove 
false.  And  hia  goodness,  which  you  seem  most  highly 
to  approve^  you  partly  resist,  as  it  would  lead  you  to 

132  A    CALL    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

repentance;  and  partly  abuse,  to  the  strengthening 
of  your  sin,  as  if  you  might  the  more  freely  sin^ 
because  God  is  merciful. 

,6.  Yea,  you  fetch  destruction  from  the  blessed 
Redeemer,  and  death  from  the  Lord  of  life  hittiself. 
Nothing  more  emboldens  you  in  sin,  than  that  Christ 
has  died  for  you  :  as  if  now  the  danger  of  death  were 
over,  and  you  might  boldly  venture ;  as  if  Christ 
were  become  a  servant  to  Satan  and  your  sins,  and 
must  wait  upon  you  while  you  are  abusing  him. 
And  because  he  is  become  the  Physician  of  souls,  and 
is  able  to  save  to  the  uttermost  all  that  come  to  God 
by  him ,  you  think,  he  must  save  you  whether  you 
will  come  to  God  by^  him  or  no.  So  that  a  great 
part  of  your  sins  are  occasioned  by  your  bold  pre- 
sumption upon  the  death  of  Christ. 

6.  He  gives  them  to  you  as  the  tokens  of  his  love, 
and  furniture  for  his  service,  and  you  turn  them 
against. him  to  the  pleasing  of  your  flesh.  You  eat 
and  drink  to  please. your  appetitCj  and  not  for  the 
glory  of  God.  Your  clothes  you  abuse  to  pride. 
Your  riches  draw  your  hearts  from  heaven.  Your 
honours  and  applause  puflf  you  up.  If  you  have 
health  and  strength,  it  makes  you  more  secure.  Yea, 
other  men's  mercies  are  abused  by  you  to  your  hurt. 
If  you  see  their  honours  and  dignity,  you  are  provoked 
to  envy  them.  If  you  see  their  riches,  you  are  ready 
to  covet  them.  If  you  look  upon  beauty,  ybuare 
stirred  up  to  lust.  And  it  is  well  if  godlindss  be  not 
an  eyesore  to  you.  > 

7.  The  very  gifts  which.  God  bestows  on  you,  and 
the  ordinances  of  grace,  you  turn  to  sin.  If  yoa 
have  better  parts  than  others,  you  grow  proud  and 
self-conceited.  You  take  the  bare  hearing  of  your 
duty  for  so  good  a  work,- as  will  excuse  you  for  not 


obeying  it. — Your  prayers  are  turned  into  sin,  because 
you  regard  iniquity  in  your  hearts,*  and  depart  not 
from  iniquity  when  you  call  on  the  name  of  the  Lord. 
Your  prayers  are  abominable,  because  you  turn  away 
your  ear  from  hearing  the  law?-\  And  are  more 
ready  to  offer  the  sacrifice  of  fools,  (thinking  you  do 
God  some  special  service,)  than  to  hear  his  word, 
and  obey  it.  J  And  thus  I  might  show  you,  in  many 
other  cases,  hqw  you  turn  all  that  comes  near  you  to 
your  own  destruction ;  so  clear  is  it,  that  the  ungodly 
are  self-destroyers,  and  that  their  perdition  is  of 

Methinks  now,  upon  the  consideration  of  what  is 
said,  and  the  review  of  your  own  ways,  you  should 
consider  what  you  have  done,  and  be  ashamed,  and 
deeply  humbled.  If  you  be  not,  I  pray  you  consider 
these  following  tr-utbs; 

1.  To  be  your  otvn  destroyers,  is  to  sin  against 
the  deepest  principle  in  your  natures,  even  the 
principle  of  self-preservation.  Every  thing  naturally 
desires  its  own  welfare  or  preservation  ;  and  will  you 
set  yourselves  to  your  own  destruction  ?  When  you  are 
commanded  to  love  your  neighbours  as  yourselves,  it 
is  supposed  that  you  naturally  love  yourselves ;  but 
if  you  love  your  neighbours  no  better  than  yourselves, 
it  seems  you  would  have  all  the  world  damned. 

2.  How  extremely  do  you  cross  your  own  inten- 
tions!  I  know  you  intend  not  your  own  damnation  ; 
even  when  you  are  procuring  it,  you  think  you  are 
but  doing  good  to  yourselves,  by  gratifying  the  desires 
of  your  flesh:  but,  alas,  it  is  as  a  draught  of  cold 
water  in  a  burning  fever,  which  increases  the  disease. 
If  indeed  you  would  have  pleasure,  profit,  or  honour, 

*  Psal.  Ixvi.  18;  t  P^ov.  xxviii.  9-  +  Eccles.  v.  1. 

124  A    CALL  TO   THE   tJNCp«VERTE6. 

seek  them  where  they  are  to  be  found,  not  in  the  way , 
to  hell. 

3.  What  pity  it  is  that  you  should  do  tba^  against 
yourselves,  which  none  else  in  earth  or  hell  can  do. 
—if  all  the  world  were  combined  against  you,  or  all 
the  devils  in  hell,  they  could  not  destroy  you  without 
yourselves.  And  will  you  do  that  against  yourselves 
which  no  one  ehe  can  do  ?  You  have  hateful  thoughts 
of  the  devil,  because  he  is  yourenemy,  and  endeavours 
your  destruction  !  and  will  you  be  worse  than  devils 
to  yourselves?  But  thus  it  is  with  you  when  you  run 
into  sin,  and  refuse  to  turn  at  the  call  of  God ;  you 
do  more  against  your  own  feouls,  than  men  or  devils 
could  do  beside ;  and  if  you  should  set  youpsejves  to 
do  yourselves  the  greatest  mischief,  you  could  not 
devise  a  greater. 

4.  It  will  everlastingly  make  you  your  own  tor- 
mentors in  hell,  to  think  that  you  brought  yourselves 
wilfully  to  that  misery.  O  what  a  griping  thought 
will  it  be,  to  think  with  yourselves,  That  this  was 
your  own  doing !  That  you  were  warned  of  this  day, 
and  warned  again,  but  it  would  not  dO;  that  you 
wilfully  sinned,  and  wilfully  turned  away  from  Gtfd : 
you  had  time  as  well  as  others,  but  you  abiised 
it;  you  had  teachers  as  well  as  others,  but  you  refused 
their  instructions ;  you  had  holy  examples,  but  you 
did  not  imitate  them ;  you  wqre  offered  Christ,  and 
grace,  and  gl<!»ry,  as  well  as- others,  but  you  preferred 
your  fleshly  pleasure ;  you  had  a  price  in  your  hands, 
but  you  had  not  a  heart  to  lay  it  out !  Can  it  cht>ose 
but  torment  you  to  think  of  this  your  foUy  ?  O  that 
your  eyes  were  opened  to  see  what  you  have  done 
in  the  wilful  wronging  of  your  own  souls !  and  that 
you  better  understood  these  words  of  God :    ffear 


instruction  and  be  tuise,  and  refuse  it  not.  Blessed  is 
the  man  that  heareth  me,  watching  daily  at  my  gtites, 
waiting  at  the  posts  of  my  doors.  For  whoso  ^deth 
me,  Jindeth  life,  and  shad  obtain  the  favaar  of  the 
Lord.  But  he  that  sinneth  against  me,  wrongeth  his 
own  soul :  all  they  that  hate  me,  love  death.  * 

Dear  friends,  I  am  so  loath  you  should  lie  in 
everlasting  fire,  that  I  once  more  ask  what  you  resolve 
on,— Will  you  turn  or  die  ?  As  far  as  you  are  gone 
in  sin,  do  but  now  turn  and  come  to  Christ,'and  your 
souls  shall  live.  'If  it  were  your  bodies  which  we 
had  to  deal  with,  we  might  know  what  to  do  for  you  : 
though  you  would  not  consent,  you  might  be  held  or 
bound,  while  the  mediciqe  was  poured  down  your 
throats,  and  hurtful  things  might  be  kept  from  you : 
but  about  your  souls,  it  cannot  be  so;  we  cannot 
convert  you  against  your  wills :  there  is  no  carrying 
madmen  to  heaven  in  fetters :  you  may  be  condemned 
against  your  wills,  because  you  sinned  with  your 
wills ;  but  you  cannot  be  saved  against  your  wills. 

The  wisdom  of  God  has  thought  meet  to  lay  man's 
salvation  or  destruction  exceeding  much  upon  the 
choice  of  his  own  will ;  that  no  mart  shall  go  to 
heaven  who  chooses  not  the  way  to  heaven  :  and  no 
man  shall  go  to  hell,  but  shall  be  forced  to  say, 
"  I  have  the  thing  I  chose ;  my  own  will  did  bring 
me  here."  Now  if  1  could  but  get  you  to  be  willing, 
to  be  thoroughly  and  resolutely  willing,  the  worU 
were  more  than  half  done.  And,  alas !  must  we  lose 
our  friends;  and  must  they  lose  their  God,  their 
happiness,  their  souls,  for  want  of  this  ?  I  do  again 
beseech  you,  as  if  it  were  on  my  bended  knees,  that 
you  would  hearken  to  your  Redeemer,  and  turn, 
that  ym  may  live.  All  you.  that  have  lived  in  ignor 
*  Prov;  viii.  33—36, 

126  A    CALL   TO    THE   UNCONVERTED. 

rance,  and  carelessness,  and  presumption,  to  this  day; 
all  vou  that  have  been  drowned  in  the  cares  of  the 
world,  and  have  no  desire  after  God,  and  eternal.glory ; 
all  you  that  are  enslaved  to  your  fleshly  desires  jof 
meats  and  drinks,  sports  and  lusts ;  and  all  you  that 
know  not  the  necessity  of  holiness,  and  never  were 
acquainted  with  the  sanctifying  work  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  upon  your  souls;  that  never  embraced  y6ur 
blessed  Redeemer  by  a  lively  faith,  and  with  admiring 
and  thankful  apprehensions  of  his  love,  and  that  never 
felt  a  higher  estimation  of  God  and  heaven,  and  a 
heartier  love  to  them,  than  to  the  things  below: — I 
eiarnestly  beseech  you,  not  only  for  ipy  sake,  but  for 
the  Lord's  sake,  and  for  your  souls'  sake,  that  you 
go  not  one  day  longer  in  your  present  condition  ;  but 
look  about  you,  and  cry  to  God  for  converting  grace, 
that  you  may  escape  the  plagues  which  are  before 
you.  Deny  me  any  thing  that  ever  I  shall  ask  you 
for  myself,  if  you  will  but  grant  me  this.  Nay,  as 
ever  you  will  do  any  thing  at  the  request  of  the  Lord 
that  made  you  and  redeemed  you,  deny  him  not  this; 
for  if  you  deny  him  this,  he  cares, for  nothing  that 
you  shall  grant  him.  As  ever  you  would  have  him 
hear  your  prayers,  and  grant  your  requests,  and  bless 
you  at  the  hour  of  death,  and  day  of  judgment,  deny 
not  his  request  now  in  the  day  of  your  prosperity. 
O  believe  it,  death  and  judgment,  and  heaven  and 
hell,  are  other  matters  when  you  come  near  them, 
than  they  seem  afar  off.  , 

Well,  though  I  cannot  hope  so  well  of  you  allj  I 
hope  that  some  of  you  are  by  this  time  purposing  to 
turn  and  live;  and  that  you  are  ready  to  ask  me,  as 
the  Jews  did  Peter,  when  they  were  pricked  in  their 
hearts.  What  shall  we  do?  How  may  we  come  to 
be  truly  converted  ?    We  are  willing,  if  we  did  but 

A    CALL   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED.  121' 

know  our  duty.  God  forbid  that  we  should  choose 
destruction,  by  refusing  conversion,  as  hitherto  we 
have  done. 

If  these  be  the  purposes  of  your  hearts,  I  say  of 
you,  as  God  did  tOf  a  promising  people.  They  have 
well  said  all  tlikt  they  have  spoken.-  O  that  there 
were  stick  a. heart  in  them,  that  they  would  jfear  me, 
and  keep  all  my  commandments  always!*  Your 
purposes  are  good :  O  that  there  were  but  such  a 
heart  in  you  to  perform  these  purposes !  And,  in 
hope  thereof,  I  slT&li  gladly  give  you  direction  what 
to  do ;  and  that  but  briefly,  that  you  may  the  estsier 
remernber  it  for  your  practice. 

Direction  I. If  you  would  be  converted  and 

saved,  labour  to  understand  the  necessity  and  nature 
of  conversion. Consider  what  a  lamentable  con- 
dition you  are  in  till  your  conversion,  that  you  may 
see  it  is  not  a  state  to  be  rested  in.  You  are  under 
the  guilt  of  all  the  sins  that  ever  you  committed,  and 
under  the  wrath  of  Go<i,  and  the  curse  of  his  law; 
you  are  bond-slaves  to  the  devil^  and  daily  employed 
in  his  work,  against  the  Lord,  yourselves,  and  others; 
you  are  spiritually  dead j  as  being  void  of  the- holy 
life,  and  nature  and  image,  of  the  Lord. .  You  are 
unfit  for  any  holy  work,  and  do  nothing  that  is  truly 
pleasing  to  God.  You  are  without  any  promise  or 
assurance  of  his  protection,  and  live  in  continual 
danger  of  his 'justice,  not  knowing  what  hour  you 
may  be  sriatohed  away  to  hell ;  and  most  certain  to 
be  damned  j  if  you  die  in  that  condition  ;  and  nothing 
short  of  conversion  can  prevent  it.  Whatever  amend- 
ment^ are  short  of  true  conversion,  will  never  procure 
the  saving  of  your  souls.  Keep  the  true  sense  of  this 
natural  misery,  and  of  the  necessity  of  conversion,  on 
*  Deut.  V.  28,  29. 

128  A    CALL    TO   THE    UNCONVERTED. 

your  hearts.  Aod  then  you  must  understand  what 
it  is  to  be  converted:  it  is  to  have  a  new  heart  or 
disposition,  and  a  new  conversation. 

Quest.  1.    For  what  must  we  turn  ? 

Ans.  For  these  ends  following,  uwhich  you  may 
attain  :  You  shall  hereby  be  made  living  members  of 
Christ,  and  have  an  interest  in  him ;  and  be  renewed 
after  the  image  of  God,  quickened  with  a,  new  and 
heavenly  life,  and  saved  from  the  tyranny  of  Satan, 
and  the  dominion  of  sin ;  and  be  justified  from  the 
curse  of  the  law,  and  have  the  pardon  of  all  the  sins 
of  your  whole  lives ;  and  be  accepted  of  God,  and 
made  his  sons,  and  have  liberty  with  boldness  to  call 
him  Father,  and  go  to  him  by  prayer  in  all  your, 
wants,  with  a  promise  of  acceptance ;  you  shall  have 
the  Holy  Ghost  to  dwell  in  you,  to  ssuictify  and  guide 
you;  you  shall  have  part  in  the  communion  and 
prayers  of  the  saints;  you  shall  be  fitted  for  God's 
service ;  and  shall  have  the  promise  of  this  life,  and 
that  which  is  to  come. 

And,  at  death,  your  souls  shall  go  to  Christ;  and 
at  the  day  of  judgment,  both  soul  and  body  shall  be 
justified  and  glorified,  and  enter  into  your  Master's  joy. 

All  this  the  poorest  beggar  of  you  that  is  converted 
shall  certainly  and  endlessly  enjoy. 

II.  If  you  will  be  converted  and  saved,  be  much 
in  secret,  serious  consideration;  Inconsiderateness 
undoes  the  vf^orld.  Withdraw  yourselves  often  into 
secrecy,  and  meditate  on  the  end  for  which  you  were 
made ;  on  the  life  you  have  lived  ;  the  time  ypu  have 
lost ;  the  sins  you  have  committed ;  on  the  love,  and 
sufferings,  and  fulness,  of  Christ ;  on  the  danger  you 
are  in ;  on  the  nearness  pf  death  and  judgment;  and 
on  the  certainty  and  excellency  of  the  joys  of  heaven ; 
and  on  the  certainty  and  terror  of  thetorments  of  hell, 

A    CALL   TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.  129 

and  eternity  of  b6th  ;  and  on  the,  necessity  of  con- 
version and  a  holy  life.  V       , 

III.  If  you  would  be  converted  and  saved,  attend, 
upon  the  word  of  God,  which  is  the^ordinary  means. 
Read  the  scripture,  or  hear  it  read,,  atid  oth^r  holy, 
writings,  which  do  apply  to  it,  constantly;  and  attend 
on  the  public  preaching  of  the  wprd.  As  God  will 
lighten  the  world  by  the  sun,  and  not  by. himself 
alone  without  it;  so  will  he  convert  ai^d  save  men' 
by  his,  ministers,  who  are  the  lights  qf  the  ^yorld. 
When  he  has  miraculously  humbled  Paul,  he  sends 
Ananias  ^o  him ;  add  when  he  has  sent  an  angel  to 
Cornelius,  it  is  but  to  bid  him.  send  for  Peter,  wbp 
must  tell  him  what  he  is  to  beJieve  ^nd  do.  >;  , 

IV.  Betake  yourselves  to  God  in  a  course  q|'  earnest 
and  constant  prayer.  Confess  and  lament  your  forpier 
lives,  and  beg,,  his  grace  to  illuminate  and  -convert 
you.  Beseech  him  to,  pardon  what  is  pa;st,  and  to 
give  you  his  Spirit,  ajod  change  your  hearts  and  lives, 
and  lead  you  in  his  ways,  and  save  you  from  temptation. 
And  ply  this  work  daily,  and  be  not  weary  of  it. 

V.  Presently  give  over  your  known  and  wilful 
sins.  Make  a  stand,  and  go  that  way  no  farther.  Be 
drunk  no  more ;  but  avoid  the  place,  and  occasion  of 
it.  ,  Cast  away  -your  lusts  and  sinful  pleasures  with 
detestation.  Curse  and  swear  and  rail  no  more :  and 
if  you  have  wronged  any,  restore  as  Zaccheus  did,  If 
you  will  commit  again  your  old  sins,  what  blessing 
can  you  expect  on  the  means  for  conversion  ?  , 

.  VI.  Presently,  if  possible,  change  your  company. 
-r-Notby  forsaking  your  necessary  relations,  but  your 
unnecessary  sinful  :companions :  and  join  yourselves 
with  those  that  fear  the  Lord. 

VII.  Deliver  up  yourselves  to  the  Lord  Jesus  as 
the  Physician  of  your  souls,  that  he  may  pardon  you 

130  A    CALL   TO    THE   UlJ'CONVfiRTED. 

by  hfs  blood,  and  sanctify  you  by  his  Spirit;  by  his 
word  and  ministers,  the  instruments  of  his  Spiritk  He 
a  the  way,  the  truth,  and  thi  life ;  th&re  is  no  coMhg 
to  the  Father  liit  by  him.*  Nor  is  tkwe'  (m^  other 
name  under  heaven  by  i^Meh  ytiu  can  he  ^iiv/ed.  \ 
Study,  therefore,  his  pefeoti  and  nature;  and  vs4at 
he  has  done  and  siifferdd  for  you  ;  attd  what  he  is  to 
you;  and  what  he  will  be;  art^  how  he  Is  fitted 
to  the  full  supply  di  all  your  hecfeSsities, 

VIII.*"  If  you  *a6an  indeed  to  turn  atid  li-^,  do  it 
without  dels^.  If  you  be  not  wWiflg  to  turn  to-day, 
you  are  n6t  willing  to  dd  it  all.  Remember^  ya«  are 
all  this  while  iti  your  blood ;  under  the  guilt  of  aatiy 
liiousaDd  sins,  and  under  God's  wrath,  atid  you  ^atid 
at  the  very  brink  of  hell ;  there  is  but  ^  S'tep  between 
yoti  and  death :  ;and  this  is  not  a  ease  for  a  man  to 
bfe  quiet  iii.  Up  therefore  presently,  and  fly  for  yeuT 
lives;  as  you  would  be  gofte  out  of  your,  house,  if 
it  were  all  on  fere  over  your  head.  t3,  if  you  did 
b'tft  know  what  danger  you  live  i6>  and  what  daily 
unspeakaHe  loss  yOQ  do  sustaifi,  land  what  a  safer 
and  sweeter  life  ybu  thight  live,  yea  Wdirtd'BOt  stand 
trifling,  but  presently  'tuto.  Mttltitades  aUiscarty 
^ho  Wilfully  delay,  when  they  ate  corfwnced  chat  it 
tfaustlae'done.  Your  Ijiv^s  are  ^on  and  ufifoei«tain; 
and  what  a  case  are  you  Ift,  if  you  4ie  before  you 
thoroughly  turn  ?  You  have  staid  itOOtoBg  ^Irefady, 
and  Wronged  God  too  long;  sin^ets  oswength  and 
rooting  while  you  delay  ;  your  conversion  will  grow 
more  hard  and  doubtful.  You  havcwuch  to  do,  and 
therefore  put  not  all  off  to  the  last,  lest  God  forsake 
you,  and  give  you  up  to  yourselves^  and  then  y©u 
are  undone  for  ever. 

IX.    If  you  will  turn  and  live,  do  it  iini:eset¥edly» 

*  John  xiv.  6.  Acts  iv,  12. 

A    CAH,   XO   THE   UNC<;>JIV|:^T£B.  13i 

alMiPlyt^ly,  an^  voiversaUy.  TIjink  not  to,  capiti^l^t^ 
^Jth  Christ,  apd  (Jivide  your  heart  betwixt  him  ap4 
^he  world  ;  j^pd  to  pa,rt  with  some  si,ps,  and  keep,  the 
rest.  This  is  ift^t  self^deluding ;  yiQU,  vmstjor^qike  (i,U 
you  hav^,  or  el^  ypu  ccmnoii  he  his  disciples.*  If  ypn 
will  not  take  Qod  and  heav^p  for  your  portion,  aird 
lEiy  9,l\  helow  ^t  the  feet  of  Pbrist,  but  must  .^eeds 
also  h^ve  your  good  things  he^e,  and  have  an  earthly 
portion,  and  God  and  gloi;y  js  not  enough  fof  you, — 
it  is  in  vain  to.  dream  ojf  ss^lvation  on  these  t^rms,; 
for  it  will  not  be.„  If  you  sjeem  ever  so  (^e^igious  ;  if 
yet  it  be  but  outside  righteousness,  this  is  as  cerifi|n 
a  w^y  to  de^^j,  as  open  profaneqess,  though  it  be 

3f.  If  you  will  tqrn  and  Uvp,  do  it  resolvedly,  and 
^t^ud  uot  still  ^^liheri^ting,  £(f  if  it  we^'e  a  doubtfi^I 
Q^^e.  Stand  pot  w^veripg,  as  if  you  vifere  ye^  uqcertaia 
whether  Qq^  OF  thf  fl^ph  be  th*^  better  master;  or 
Vfh?|:her  l^gg^ven  or  hell  b^e  the  better  end;  or  \Yhether 
syup  oj-  holiufis?  be  the  hptter  way.  But  aw^y  wi^h 
your  fornqer  ]usts,  ^nd  presently,  habiti^ally,  fixedly 
resolve ;  be  pot  one  day  of  one  mind,  aod  the  next 
pf  another;  but  be  at  a  point  yf^ith  all  the  world,  ai^d 
resolvedly  giye  up  yourselves  and  aU  yoi^  have  to 
God.  Now,  while  you  are  hearing,  or  reading  this, 
resolve.  Before  you  sleep  another  night,  resolve. 
Before  you  stir  from  the  place,  resolve.  Before  Satan 
have  time  to  take  you  off,  resolve.  You  never  turn 
indeed  till  you  do  resolve ;  and  that  with  a  firm  and 
unchangeable  resolution.  - 

And  now  I  have  done  my  part  in  this  work,  that 

you  may  turji  at  the  call  of  God,  and  live.     What 

will  become  of  it,  I  cannot  tell.    I  have  cast  the  seed 

at  God's  command,  but  it  is  not  in  my  power  to  give 

*  hvike  xiv.  36.  33. 


the  increase.  lean  go  no  farther  with  my  triBssage; 
I  cannot  bring  it  to  your  heart,  or  make  it  work  ;  1 
cannot  do  your  parts  for  you,  to  entertain  it ;  I  cannot 
do  God's  part,  by  opening  your  heart  to  cause  you  to 
entertain  it :  nor  can  I  show  you  heaven'  or  hell  to  your 
eyesight,  nor  give  you  new  and  tender  hearts. 

But,  O  thou  that  art  the  gracious  Father  of  spirits, 
thou  hast  sworn  thou  delightest  not  in  the  death  of 
the  wicked,  but  father  that  they  turn  and  live;  deny 
not  thy  blessing  to  these  persuasions  and  directions, 
iand  suffer  not  thy  enemies  to  triumph  in  thy  sight, 
and  the  great  deceiver  of  sotils  to  prevail  against  thy 
Son,  thy  Spirit,  and  thy  Word.  O  pity  poor  uncon- 
verted sinners,  that  have  no  hearts  to  pity  or  help 
themselves:  command  the  blind  to  see,  the  deaf  to 
hear,  and  the  dead  to  live,  and  let  not  sin  and  death 
be  able  to  resist  thee.  Awake  the  secure,  resolve 
the  unresolved,  confirm  the  wavering:  and  let  the  eyes 
of  sinners  that  read  these  lines,  be  next  em^plo^ed  in 
weeping  over  their  sins;  and  bring  them  to  themselves, 
and  to  thy  Son,  before  their  sins  have  brought  them 
to  perdition.  If  thou  say  but  the  word,  these  poor 
endeavours  shall  prosper,  to  the  winning  of  many  a 
soul  to  their  everlasting  joy,  and  thine  everlasting 
glory.     Amen. 


That  are  purposed  to  turn,  and  are  under  the  work 
of  Conversion,  ahat  it  miscarry  not. 

The  first  and  greatest  matter  in  the  seeking  after 
the  salvation  of  our  souls,  is  to  be  sure  that  we  lay  the 
foundation  wiell,  and  that  the  work  of  conversion  be 
thoroughly  wrdught.    To  this  end  I  have  already  tised 
many  persuasions  with  the  unconverted  to  return, 
thinking  all  other  directions  vain,  till  we  have  per- 
suaded men  to  a  consent  and  willingness  to  practise 
them. — And  in  the  end  of  that  discourse  I  added  a 
few  directions  for  the  use  of  such  as  are  willing  to  be 
converted.     But  because  I  know  that  this  is  a  matter 
of  exceeding,  consequence,  I  dare  not  thus  leave  it, 
before  I  hav^  added  some  further  directions,  to  prevent 
the  miscarrying  of  this  work  where  it  is  begun.    And 
lest  I  should  lose  my  labour,   through   the  unpre- 
paredness  of  the  reader,  I  shall  give  yoii  first  some 
preparing  considerations,  which  may  awaiken  you  to 
the  practice  of  the  directions  which  I  shall  give  you. 
Con^der  first,  That  half-conversions  are  the  undoing 
of  many  thousand  souls.  If  you  are  but  like  Agrippa,* 
almost  persuaded  to  be  Christians,  you  Will  be  but 
almost  saved.     Many  a  thousatid  that  are  now  past 
help,  have  had  the  word  come  near  them  and  cast 
them  into  a  fear,  and  rioade  some  stir  and  trouble  in 
their  souls,  awakening  their  consciences,  and  forcing 
them  to  some  good  purposes  and  promises ;  yea,  and 
bringing  them  to  the  performance  of  a-half-reformation : 

*  Acts  xxvi.  28. 


but  this  is  not  it  that  will  serve  your  turn.     Many 

have  been  gq  much  <ihanged,  as  not  to  be  fer  from  the 

kingdom  of  God,  and  yet  came  short  of  il.*     There 

is  no  promise  in  scripture  that  you  shall  be  jiaiidoned, 

if  you  almost  repent  andbelieve;  or  be  saved,  if  you 

be^lmost  sanctified  and  obedient :  but,  on  the  contrary, 

the  Lord  hath  plainly  resolved,  that  you  must  turn 

or  die,  though  you  almost  turn;  and  repent  or  perish, 

though  you  almost^repent;  and  thatyoushpll  not  enter 

the  kingdom  of  heaven,  without  conversion  and  a  ne^v 

birth,  though  you  come  ever  so  near  it.     Gpd  h^tti 

yesplved  upon  the  terms  of  your  sajv^tion;  and  it  ig 

in  vain  to  hope  for  salvation  upoi}  any  Pthe;r  ter^^fig. 

God  will  not  change  nor  come  down  to  yoiir  terms,  It 

IS  you  that  must  change  and  come  quite  ovpr  to  liis 

terms,  or  you  are  lost  for  ever.     If  yoii  come  ever  sp 

near  them,  yov  are  but  lost  men,  if  you  come  not  up 

tp  them.     The  Lord  well  knew  wh*t  be  did,  when  he 

made  his  covenant  and  law,  and  he  imposed  nothing 

op  the  sons  of  men  but  wh^t  his  infinite  vvisdom  tpld 

him  itwas  fit  for  him  to  impost;  and  he  will  qpE 

now. compound  with  sinners,  and  take  less  thjan  he 

requireth  ;  that  is,  less  than  the  pre-eminenpy  in  their 

hearts ;   nor  vyijl  he  ever  come  down  tP  aiiy  lower 

terms  with  you,  than  those  which. he  propounded  tp 

you  JB  his  gospel.    And  therefore,  poor  sinners,  as  you 

Jove  yogr  souls,  dp  not  gtand  dpdging  and  hskipg 

with  God;  but  give  up  ypur^elviesi  entirely  to  him; 

and  do  not  stop  at  the  beginning  of  cpgyersipn,  ]but 

go  through  with  it,  till  you  are  become  pe^y  (Greatures 

indeed ;  or  you  are  undone  when  ypo  have  done  ^.U- 

.A  half  unsoynd  convert,  wjU  .as  certainly  pefish  ^si  a 

drunkaid  or  a  whoremonger;  though  his  tprmept  m?y 

not  be  so  gfeat. 

Mark  xji,  ?,4. 


3.  Considfer  also,  That  if  you  do  not  go  through 
with  the  work  when  you  ar^  upon  it,  you  may  perhap^ 
make  it  more  difficult  than  it  was  before  ever  you 
meddled  with  it,  and  make  it  a  very  doubtful  case 
whether  ever  it  will  be  done.  As  it  is  with  a  wound 
or  other  sore ;  if  you  tamper  with  it  with  salves  that 
are  a>at  agreeable  to  it,  or  are  disorderly  applied ;  or  if 
yoa  skin  it  over  before  it  he  searched  to  the  bottom, 
it  must;  be  opened  again,  and  will  cost  you  double 
pain  before  it  be  cured.  Or,  as  I  have  seen  it  with 
some  that  have  a  boiie  broken,  or  out  of  joint,  and  it 
hath  been  set  amiss  at  first ;  O  what  torments  were 
the  poor  creatures  fain  to  undergo,  in  havingit  broken 
or  stretched  and  set  again !  which  might  havfe  been 
spared,  if  it  had  been  thoroughly  done  at  first.  So  if 
you  will  be  shrinking  and  drawing  back,  and  favouring 
your  flesh,  and  will  not  go  lo  the  quick,  you  will 
make  youT  Conversion  much  more  difficult :  you  must 
be  brought  to  it  again,  and  fetch  your  groans  yet 
deeper  than  before,  and  weep  over  all  your  former 
tears ;  your  doubts  will  be  multiplied  ;  yottr  fears  and 
sorrows  will  be  increased;  and  all  will  go  sorer -with 
you  than  at  first.  O  what  a  case  will  you  be  in, 
when  your- sores  must  be  lanced  a  second  time,  and 
your  bonies,  as  it  were,  broken  again  !  Then  you  will 
wish  you  had  gone  through  with  it  at  the  first. 

Yea,  perhaps  you  may  put  God  to  it  to  fetch  youi 
in  by  some  sharp  affliction,  and  send  out  so  boisterpu^ 
and  chiiriish  a  messenger  to  call  you  home,  as  may 
make  you  wish  you  had  hearkened  to  a  more  gentle 
call:  When  the  sheep  will  straggle,  the  dog  must  be 
sent  to  affright  him  home.  Many  a  foolish  sinner 
makes  light  of  tbegentle  invitations  of  grace,  and  they 
stand  hovering  between  their  sins  and  Christ ;  and 
sometimes  they  have  a  mind  to  turn,  and  the  next 


temptation  they  are  off  again,  and  then  they  come  on 
again  coldly  with  half  a  heart:  and  thus  they  statid 
trifling  with  the  God  of  heaven,  till  he  is  fain  to  take 
another  course  with  them,  and  resolve  to  use  some 
sharper  means ;  and  when  he  layeth  them  under  his 
rod,-  and  they  can  neither  fly  from  him,  nor  resist 
himj  but  see  that  their  lives  and  souls  are  at  his 
mercy,  then  they  begin  to  look  about  them,  an,d  see 
their  folly,  and  changei their  minds.  You  can  tarry, 
and  delay  daily  with  the  dreadful  God,  in  the  time  of 
your  prosperity  ;  and  we  may  ask  ybu  over  and  over, 
whether  you  will  turn,  before  we  can  have  a  hearty 
answer:  but  what  willypu  do  when  God  shall  begin 
to  frown,  and  when  he  takes  you  in  hand  by  his 
irresistible  power,  and  lets  loose  u'pon  you  the  terrors 
of  his  wrath?  Will  you  then  make  as  light  of  his 
mercy  as  youdp  now'  ?  Have  you  not  read,  Dan.  v.  6. 
bow  small  au  appa:rition  of  his  anger  did  make  a 
carousing  king  look  pale,  aad  his  joints  to  tremble  in 
the  mi^dst  of  his  jovially  ?  A -Manasseh  will  bethink 
himself,  and  come  in  when  he  is  laid  in  irons,  though 
he  could  set  light  by  God  before,  2  Chron.  xxxiii.  13. 
If  Jonah  will  run  away  from  God,  he  can  send  a 
boisterous  messenger  to  arrest  him,  and  cast  him  as  it 
were  in  the  belly  of  hell,  and  make  him  cry  for  mercy 
to  him  that  he  disobeyed.  So,:  if  you  will  stand 
trifling  with  God,'  and  will  not  by  fair  means  be 
persuaded  to  yield  and  come  away,  you  may  shortly 
look  to  hear  from  him -in  another  manner;  for  he  hath 
a  voice  that  will  make  the  proudest  face  look  pale, 
and  the  stubbornest  heart  that  is,  to  tremble.  If  an 
idle  stubborn  child  will  not  learn  to;  be  tuled,  the 
mastdr  or  parent  will  leach  him  with  the  rod,  and 
give  him  thfe  lash,  and  ask' him,  Will  you  yet  learn? 
And  ask' him;  agadn-.  What  say  you  now,  will  you  yet 


ob^  ?  So  wiM  God  do  by  you,  if  he  lovfe  you,  and 
mean  to  save  you:  when  he  hath  taken  away  your 
wealth.,  your  friends,  your  cbildreni  will  you  then 
hearken)  tio  hifflai,!  or  will:  y<oui  not !  When  you  lie 
gfToaningv  on  your  couch,  and.  all  your  parts  are  over- 
whelmed'with  pains,  and  death  begins  to  lay  hands' 
upon  you,  and  bids  you  now  come  and'  answer  for 
yoiir  rebellions,  and  delay?  before  the-  living  God^ 
what  will'  you-  dp  then  ?  Will  you;  turn'  or  riot  ?  O 
the  Lamentable  folly  of  sinners,  that  put  themselves 
to  SO' much  sorrowand  great  calamity  foptfeemselves ! 
When  sickness  comes,  and'death  draws  near^  yj9u  hsg, 
atidcryj  and  groan  j  arid  promisei  When  you,  feel  the' 
rod^,  wha*  Christiians  will  you.  then  be  !  And  why  not 
withouitao  much  ado,?  Youi  then  think.  God  deals 
somewhat  hardly  with  you:  And  why  will  yoU'  nof 
then  tum  by  gentler  means?  3  You  might  spare  your- 
selves; much  of  this- misery,  if  you  would;  and  you 
wild  riot;  Is  it*a  seemJjy  thing  for  a  man  to  be  driven 
to  heaven.' by  scourges  ?  Is.Gbd  so  bad  a  master,  and 
heaven  so  bad'  a  place,  that  you  will  not'  turn  to 
them,  and  mind*  them,  and  seek  themy  till  there  be  no 
remedy,  and  you  are  as  it  were  driven  to  it  "against 
your  will?'  Is  the  world  siMih  an  inheritance,  and 
sin  so  good'  a  thing,  and  the  flesh  or  devils  so  good^i 
a  master,  that  you  will  not  leave  them  till  yom  are 
whipfc  away  ?  What  a  shameful  unreasonable  course 
is  this? 

Well,  sirs,  the  case  is  plain  before  you.  Turn  you 
must  at  one  time  or  other,  or  be  the  firebrands  of 
hell.  And  seeing  it  is  a  thing  that  must  be  done, 
were  it  not  best  for  you/  to  take  the  easiest-  and  the 
surest  way  to  do  it ;  even  to  strike  while  the  iron  is 
hot,  before  it  cool  again ;  and  to  go  through  with  it 
when  God  doth  move  you  and  persuade  you.    If  you 


138         DIRECTIONS    to    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

love  your  flesh  ifSelf,  do  not  put  him  to  take  up  the 
rod,  and  fetch  you  home  by  stripes  and  terrors. 

But  that  is  not  the  worst :  for  it  will  sorely  hiazard 
the  work  itself,  and  consequently  your  salvation,  if 
you  do  not  go  through  with  it  at  the  first  attempt.  I 
know  thefe:  is  many  a  one  that  hath  been  converted 
and  saved  after  maijy  purposes,  and  promises,  and 
halfsconversions.  But  yet  I  must  tell  you,  that  this- 
is  a  very  dangerous  course.  For  youdo  not  know, 
when  you  grieve  the  Spirit  of  grace,  and  set  so  light 
by  mercy  when  it  js  offered  you,  whether  that  Spirit 
ttiaynot,  utterly  forsake  you,  arid  leave  yOu  to  yoiir 
own  ungodly  wills,  and  let  you  take  your  lusts  and 
pleasures,  and  say,  i Let  this  wretch  be  filthy  still: 
Let, him  keep  his  drunkenness,  his  companions,  his 
worldliness,  and  the  curse  of  God, with  them,  till  he 
have  tried  what  it  is  that  they  will  do  for  him:  Let 
him  follow  his  own  conceits,  and  the  pride  and 
obstinacy  of  his  own  heart,  till  he  find  .whither  they 
will  bring  him:  Let  him  serve  the  flesh  and  the 
world,  till  he  understand  whether  Gbd  or  they  be 
the  better  master.  Seeing  he  will  not  be  wise  on 
earthi  let  hirn  learn,  in  hell ;  and  let  torments  teach 
him,  seeing  mercy  might  not  teach  him.  O  poor 
soul !  What  a  case,  art  thou  in,  if.  this  should  once  be 
the  resolution  of  God!  '■' 

Moreover,  you  may  easily  knovv  that  the  longer 
you  stay,  the  more  leisure  you  give  the  devil  to 
assault  you,  and  to  try  one  way  when  he  cannot 
prevail  by  another,  and  to  strengthen  his  temptations; 
like  a  foolish  soldier,  who  will  stJind  to  be  shot  at, 
rather  than  assault  the  enemy. 

And  the  longer  ,  you  delay,  the  more  sin  gets 
strength  and  rooting.  If  you  cannot  bend  a  twig,  how 
will  you  be  able  to  bend  it  when  it  is  a  tree  ?  If  you 


cannot  pluck, up  a  tender  plant,  are. you  likely  to 
pluck  up  a  sturdy  oak  ?  Custom  gives  strength  and 
root  to  vice.  A  hlaokmrnr  may,  as  well  change  his 
skin,  or  a  leopard  his  spots,.as  those  who  are  accustomed 
to  do  evil,  can  learn  to  do  well.* 

If  you  stick  at  conversion  as  a  diflBcult  matter 
to-day,  it  will  be  more  difficult  to-morrow,  or  the 
next  month,  and  the  next  year,. than  it  is  now. 

Yea,  the  very  resistance  of  th'e  Spirit  doth  harden 
the  heart,  ^nd  the  delays  and  triflings  of  the  soul  do 
bring  it  to  an  ins^ensibility  and  boldness  in  sin,  and 
drive  away  the  fear  of  God  from  the  heart.  Now  it 
maybe  you  are  somewhat  awakened,  and  begin  to 
see  that  you  must  turn  or  die:  but  if  you  trifle  or 
delay,  this  light  maybe  gone,  and  leave  you  in 
greater  darkness  than  before  ;  and  the  voice  that  now 
awakeneth  you,  may  be  silent,  and  leave  you  to  fall 
asleep:  again.  r.^  , 

t  Moreover,  you  know  that  you  are  uncertain  of  the 
countenance  of  thegospel.  You  know  not  whether 
you  shall  have  su/ch  lively  serious  preachers  as  you 
have  now;  nor  you  know  not  w'hether  you  shall  have 
such  godly  neighbours  and  company  to  encourage 
you  ,and  help  you  in  the  work.  God  wjII  remove 
them  one  after  another, to  himself,  and  then  you  will 
have  the  fewer  prayers  for  you,  and  fewer  warnings 
and  good  examples,  and  perhaps  be  left  wholly  to  the 
company  of  deceived  ungodly  fools,  that  will  do 
nothing  but  discourage  and  hinder  you  from  conver- 
sion. And  you  are  not  sure  that  teligion  will  continue 
in  that  reputation  as  now  it  is  in, 7  Theltimes  may 
turn,  before  you  turn;  and  godliness  may  befaome  a 
scorn  again,  and  it  may  be  a  matter  of  su"ffering,  and 
mav-.cost  you  your  lives  to  live  as  the  servants  of 
*  Jer.  siii.  23. 


iChiist  iHiu&t  do.     And  tkev^-dxe^  if  you  stop  at  it 
now  as  a  difficult  ibing,  when' you  have  all  thetielps 
and  encouTageiiHents  tbat  you  can  expect,  and  1^  way 
to  heaven  is  imade  so  fair ;  and  when  the  luagistrates, 
and  ministers,  and  neighbours,  are'reasly  to  encoutage 
and  help  you ;  what  wi'H  you  do  in  times  of  perse- 
cution and  difecoaragemenit  ?  If  you  canmot  turn  when 
you  have  all  these  helps  and  means^,  what  will  you 
do  when  they  are.  taken  from  you  ?    If  you  cannot 
row  with  tihe  stream,  how  will  you  row  against  it  ?  If 
you  daire  ©ot  set  4;o«ea  when  you  have  wind,  and  tide, 
airid  sunsliine ;  what  will  you  do  in  storms  and  tem- 
pesits,  wihen  all  is  against  you  ?    O  what  would  some 
of  your  forefathers  hav^e  given,  to  have  seen  the  days 
tJsat  you  see  !    How  glad  would  many  a  thousand  in 
other  countries  of  the  world  be,  to  have  but  the  help 
tp  heaven  that  you  have!  N^ver  look  to  have  the  way 
fairer  and  easier  while  you  live.    If  you  think  heaven 
is  offered  to  you  at  too  dear  a  rate  now,  you  may  e'en 
let  it  go,  and  try  whether  hell  be  better ;  for  the  next 
offer  is  lake  to  be  upon  harder  terms,  rather  than 
easier.    If  you  cannot  now  find  iu  your  hearts  to  turn 
and  live  a  holy  life,  what  would  you  have  done  in 
S<psm  or  Italy,  where  it  would  have  cost  you  your 
lives  ?  He  that  will  not  be  converted  now,  but  thinks 
the  terms  of  grace  too  hard,  is.  so  impious  a  despiser 
of  Christ  .and  heaven,  that  it  is  no  wonder  if  God 
resolve,  that  he  shall  never  taste  of  the  salvatioo  that 
was  offered  him.* 

Moreover,  you  know  upon  what  oncortainties  you 
hold  your  lives,  you  have  no  assurance  of  them  for  an 
hour;  but  you  iare  sure  that  they  are  passing  away 
while  you  delay.  Andi  will  you  trifle  then  in  a  work 
Jhat  must  be  done  ?  What  a  case  are  you  in,  if  death 
*  Luke  xiv.  24. 

DIRECTIONS   TO   THE   UNCOKVERtfeD.        141 

find  yon  uftcoHverted  !  The  heart  of  man  is  not  able 
now  to  conceive  the  misery  of  your  case.  How  dare 
you  venture  to  live  anotlrer  d&y  in  an  unconverted 
«tate,  lest  death  sltotild  find  ;you  so  ?  Are  you  not 
afraid  when  you  lie  down  at  nrgfet,  and  afraid  when 
you  go  out  of  yo«r  doors  in  the  morning,  lest  death 
suiipit4Be  you  ?  Are  you  converted  ?  If  you  be  not, 
it  is  i&ttg  ■of  yoiur  deadness  and  presumption. 

And  I  would  fain  hear  what  it  is  that  should  thus 
stop  you .  What  are  you  afraid  of  ?  Is  God  an  enetoy, 
that  you  are  so  loath  to  come  to  him  ?  Is  the  devil 
a  friend,  that  you  are  so  loath  to  leave  him  ?  Is  sin  a 
paradise  ?  Is  holiness  a  misery  ?  Is  it  a  plea^anter 
life,  to  love  your  money,  or  your  lands,  or  your  meat 
and  drink,  and  liists;  than  to  love  the  most  blessed 
God,  the  Creator  of  the  world,  the  life  of  dur  souls, 
and  our  eternal  felicity  ?  Is  it  better  to  pamper  a 
carcaise  that  must  shortly  stink  as  the  dung,  than  to 
provide  for  a  living  immortal  soul  ?  Whether  do  you 
think  that  earth  or  heaven  will  be  the  more  glorious 
and  durable  felicity  ? 

What,  sirs,  that  you  stick  at,  that  you  make 
so  many  delays  before  you  will  turn  ?  Is  there  any 
difficulty  in  the  point?  Do  you  think  it  a  hard 
question,  whether  you  shall  turn  or  not  ?  Why,  how 
can  you  be  so  blind  ?  Do  you  stand  pausing  upon 
the  business,  as  if  it  were  a  doubt,  whether  God  br  the 
world  were  better?  And  whether  sin  or  holiness, 
Christ  or  death,  heaven  or  hell,  were  to  be  preferred  ? 
I  pray  you  consider :  can  you  reasonably  think,  that 
conversion  will  do  you  any  harm  ?  Can  it  bring  you 
into  a  worse  condition  than  you  are  in  ?  Sure  yoli 
cannot  fear  such  a  thing.  You  are  in  your  blood: 
you  are  dead  in  sin :  you  are  children  of  wrath, 
while  you  are  unconverted.  You  are  under  the  curse 


of  the  law  of  God  ;  you  are  the  slaves, of  the  devil, 
you  are  the  heirs  of  hell,  and  under  the  guilt  of  all 
your  sins;  your  life  is  a  continual  rebellion  against 
pod ;  you  are  employed  every  day  in  the  destroying 
of  yourselves,  in  kindling  the  flames  that  must  ever- 
lastingly torment  you,  and  laying  in  fuel  for  the 
perpetuating  of  your  misery ;  and  fighting  against 
your  friends  that  would  deliver  you,  and  unthankfully 
abusing  Christ,  and  grace,  and  ministers,  and  friends, 
that  would  save  your  souls.  This  is  the  condition^ 
that  every  one  of  you  is  in,  till  you  are  conv'erted. 
And  can  yoii  fear  lest  conversion  would, bring  ypu 
into  a  worse  condition  than  this'?  Sirs,  these  truths 
are  sure  and  plain ;  and  if  you  stick  at  it,  your  error 
is  so  palpably  gross,  that,  unless  you  are  madmen, 
I  may  be  bold  to  say,  it  is  a  wilful  error.  And  if 
you  love  to  be  deceived,  andwilfully  choose  a  lie,  you 
must  take  that  you  get  by  it. 

3.  Consider  further,  That  half-conversions.,  do 
often  prove  an  occasion  of  deluding  men's  souls,  and 
making  them  quiet  in  a  miserable  state,  and  so  of. 
keeping  them  from  being  converted  to  the  last.  If 
ypu  had  never  done  any  thing  in  it,  you  would  more 
easily  be  persuaded  that  your  case  is  bad,  and  that 
there  is  still  a  necessity  of  your  change.  ■  But  when 
you  have  had  some  convictions  and  troubles  of  mind, 
and  fears  and  sorrows,  and  so  hav^  fallen  into  an 
outside  partial  reforma,tion,  and  now  are  persuaded 
that  you  are  truly  converted,  when  it  is  no  such 
matter,  what  a  dangerous  impediment  to  your  con- 
version may  this  prove!  And  all  because  you  slumber 
over  the  work,  and  cut  it  off  before  it  reacheth  to 
sincerity,  and  strive  against  the  workings  of  the  Spirit, 
and  break  away  fj-om  your  Physician  before  he  hath 
done  the  cure,  and  would  pot  follow  it  untp  th^  end. 


I  know  that  a  half-conversion,  if  it  be  known  to  be 
no  more,  is  much  better  than  none,  and  doth  often 
prepare  men  for  a  saving  work.     But  when  this  half- 
conversion  is  taken  for  a  true  and  saving  change,  as 
too  commonly  it  is,  it  proves  one  of  "^the  greatest 
impediments  of  salivation.     Whenever  Christ  shall 
afterwards  knock  at  your  door,  you  will  not  know  him, 
as  thinking  that  he  dwells  with  you  already.    If  you 
read  any  books  that  call  on  you  to  be  converted,  or 
hear  any  preaphers  that  call  on  you  to  turn,  you  have 
this  at  hand  to  cozen  yourselves  with,  and  frustrate 
all— you  will  think.  This  is  not  spoken  to  me ;  for 
I  am  converted  already.     O  how  quietly  do  such 
poor  deluded  sinners  daily  read  and  hear  their  own 
doom  and  misery,  and  never  once  dream  that  they 
are  the  men  that  are  meant,  and  therefore  are, never 
dismayed  at  the  matter!    This  formeth  you  into  a 
state  of  hypocrisy,  and  makes  the  course  of  your 
duties  and  your  lives  to  be  hypocritical. '  If  another 
man,  that  knows  himself  to  be  still  uncon\^erted,  do 
but  read  the  threatenings  of  the  word  against  such, 
or  hear  the  terrors  of  the  Lord  from  a  minister,,  he 
may  be  brought  to  confess  that  this  is  his  own  case, 
and  so  to  perceive  the  misery  of  his  condition.     But 
when  such  as  you  read  and  hear  these  things  they 
never  trouble  you,  for  you  think  that  they  do  not 
touch  you :    You  are  scripture  proof,  and  sermon 
proof;  and  all  by  the  delusion  of  your  half-conversion. 
O  how  zealously  will  such  a  man  cry  out  against  the 
sins  of  others !  and  tell  them  of  their  misery,  and  per- 
suade them  to  turn,  and  show  them  the  danger  that 
is  near  them,  if  they  do  not ;  and,  in  the  mean  time, 
little  thinks  that  this  is  his  own  case,    and  that  he 
speaks  all  this  against  his  own  soul !    How  will  such 
men  applkud  a  sermon  that  drives  at  the  conversion  of 


a  sinner^  md  that  teJIs  them  their  misery  while  theyi 
are  unconverted !  Q,  thinks  he,  this  touched  such  and 
such ;  I  am  glad  that  such  >  maQ  and  such  a  man 
heard  it:  and  he  little  thinks  that  it  as  neairly  touched 
himself.  How  smoothly  will  he  go  on  in  any  discourse 
EtgaJiBst  wicked  unregenerate  men,  as,  Datvid  heard 
the  parable  of  Nathan :  and  it  never  once  entered 
into  their  thoughts,  that  they  speaJt  all  this  against 
themselves;;  till  the  Ju!(%e^hall  tell  them,  when  it  is 
too  late, — Thpu  art  the  man!  It  wilj*  turn  not  only 
the  stream  of  your  thoughts  into!  hypocrisy  and  selt 
deceit,  but  als«))  the  stream  of  your  speeches  toothers; 
yea,  and  the  current  of  your  prayers,  and  all  the  rest 
of  your  religious  performances.  When  in  confession 
you  should  acknowledge  and  lament  an  unregenerate 
carnal  state,,  you  will  only  confess  that  you  have  the 
infirmities,  of  the  saints,  and  that  yoa  have  this  or 
that  sin,  which  yet  you  think  is  mortiifie^  When 
you  should  importunately  be"g  for  renewing  grace,  you 
will  beg  only  for  streijgtheniitng  grace,  or  assurance  r 
when  you  should  be  labouring  to  break  your  hearts, 
you  will  be  studying  to-  heal  them ;  and!  will  be 
hearkening  after  present  comforts,  when  you  have 
more  need  of  godly  sorrow.  It  will  fill  your  mouths 
in  prayer  with  pharisaical  thank^ivings  for  the  mercies 
of  regeneration,  justification,  adoption,  sanctification, 
which  you  never  received.  Little  doth  many  a  soul 
know  what  sanctjification  andi  the  several  gracesv  of 
the  Spirit  are,  that  use  to  give  God  thanks'  for  them : 
there  is  many  and  many  a  one,  that  must  for  ever  be 
in  hell,  that  were  used  to  give  God  thanks  fdr  their 
hopes  of  glory.  And  the  common  cause  of  all  this 
deceit  and  misery  is,  that  men  do  run  from  under  the 
hands  of  their  Physician,  before  he  ever  wenfc  to 
the  bottom  of  their  sore,  and  go  away  with  a  half- 


conversion  ;  and  so  spend  all  the  rest  of  their  lives  in 
a  mere  delusion,  as  verily  thinking  they  are  converted, 
iwhen  they  are  not.   How  confidently  will  such  receive 
the  Lord's  supper,  and  thrust  themselves  into  the 
communion  of  the  saints,  as  if  they  had  as  good  right 
as  others  to  be  there !    Till  the  Lord  of  the  feast  shall 
take  them  to  task,  and  say.  Friend,  how  earnest  thou 
in  hither^  not  having  on  a  wedding-garment?    And 
then   they  will  be  speechless.*      How  many  false 
deceiving  comforts,  and  perhaps  even  seeming  raptures 
and  assurances,  tnay  these  have  in  themselves,  as 
verily  thinking  their  case  is  good,  when,  alas,  they 
never  yet  .laid  the  foundation  !    Yea,  and  it  is  to  be 
observed,  that  Satan  is  a  friend  to  the  comforts  of 
this  kind  of  men,  and  therefore  will  do  all  that  he  can 
to  promote  them.     For  he  would  willingly  keep  his- 
garrison  in  peaoe.'f     And,  therefore,  he  may  possibly 
be  a  comfortihg  spirit  to  them  himself,  and  imitate 
the  Holy  Ghost,  the  comforter  of  the  saints  ;  and,  it 
may  be,  give  them  such  raptures  as  seem  higher  than 
those  which  the  Spirit  of  holiness  doth  give.     He 
envieth  the  saints  their  peace  and  comfort,  because 
he  foresees  how  durable  they  will  prove:  but  he  can 
be  content  that  deluded  hypocrites  may  have  joy, 
because  their  comforts  do  not  weaken,  but  strengthen 
his  kingdom  within  them,  and  he  knows  that  they 
are  like  to  endure  but  for  a  while. 

And  thus  you  may  perceive,  how  hard  it  is  to 
convert  one  of  these  half-converted  men,  that  have 
strangled  the  new  creature  as  it  were  in  the  birth, 
and  that  are  fortified  against  all  the  means  of  grace, 
by  a  false  conceit  that  they  are  sanctified  already. 
See  therefore  "that  yoii  make  sure  work,  and  take  not 
up  in  the  middle,  and  with  halves;  but  take  your 
«  Matt.  xxii.  12.  t  Luke  xi.  21. 



present  time,   and  give  up  your  souls  to  a  total 

3.  Consider ;  if  you  take  up  short  of  a  thdrough 
conversionj  you  lose  all  your  labour,  and  sufferings, 
and' hopes  as  to  the  uiatter  of  your  salvation. 

And  what  a  pity  is  it  that  so  much  should  be  lost? 
Al&s,  to  see  many  of  our  hearers  touched  at  a  sermon, 
and  come  to  a  minister  and  bewail  their  sin,  and  seem 
to  be  humble,  and  promise  to  be  new  men,  and  yet 
^11  this  to, be  lost!  How  sad  a  case  is  this  to  think  of! 
To  see  them  leave  their  company  and  former  course 
of  life,  and  come  among  the  professors  of  holiness, 
and  all  men  take  them  for  real  converts;  and  yet  all 
this  to  be  lost,  and  their  souls  lost  after  all :  how  sad 
a  case  is  this !  If  you  grow  up  to  the  greatest  parts 
of  outward  duty,  and  be  able  to  discourse,  or  pray,  or 
preach,  even  to  the  admiration  of  the  hearers ;  yet  if 
you  do  not  ground  this  on  a  thorough  conversion, 
all  is  but  lost,  as  to  your  own  salvation  If  you 
keep  up  the  highest  strain  of  profession,  and  get  the 
highest  esteem  to  the  church,  so  that  others  depend 
upon  you  as  oracles ;  yea,  if  the  pope  with  all  his 
infallibility  should  canonize  you  for  saints;  it  were  all 
but  loss.  If  you  should  keep  up  the  most  confident 
persuasions  of  your  salvation,  and  hope  to  go  to 
heaven,  to  the  last  hour  of  your  lives ;  it  were  all 
but  lost,  if  you  build  not  all  on  a  thorough  conversion. 
Yea,  if  you  sliould  be  taken  by  persecutors  far  one 
of  the  party  to  which  you  join,  and  should  suffer  for 
the  cause  of  religion  among  them ;  all  were  but  lost, 
without  a  sound  conversion.  * 

It  is  a  pitiful  case  to  see  some  poor  unsanctified 
souls  how  they  wander  and  change  from  one  opinion 
to  another,  and.  from  p?irty  to  party,  to  find  out  that 
*  1  Cor.  xjii.  1,  a,  3. 


which  they  want  within.     They  turn  to  this  party 
first,  and  that  party  next,  and  then  to  another,  and 
then  think  they  are  sure  in  the  way  to  heaven  ;  when 
they  never  thoroughly  turned  to  God  by  Jesus  Christ; 
and  tlierefore  are  certainly  out  of  the  way,  whatever 
party  it  be  that  they  join  with.    Some  go  to  the  giddy 
sects  that  make  the  highest  pretences  to  strictness : 
and  some  go  to  Rome,  because  they  think  that  there 
they  shall  have  more  company,  and  hear  the  deluding 
sound  of  unity,  universality,  antiquity,  succession, 
miracles,  and  sueh  like;  and  then  they  think  they 
have  hit  the  way,     Alas,  poor  souls !    If  God  were 
but  nearest  and  dearest  to  your  hearts,  and  Christ 
and  his  righteousness  exalted  within  you,  and  your 
souls  unfeignedly  turned  from  your  sins,  you-would 
be  in  the  certain  way  to  hieaven,  in  what  country,  or 
company,  or  church,  soever  you  were;  supposing  that 
you  believe  and  do  nothing  there  which  is  inconsistent 
with  this  life  of  grace.     (Though  yet  every  Christian 
should  choose  that  particular  society,  if  he  cdn,  where 
he  may  not  only  be  saved,  but  most  certainly  saved, 
and  find  the  greatest  helps  and  least  hinderances,  or 
else  where  he  may  do  God  the  greatest  service,)   But 
choose  what  company  you  will  in  all  the  world,  the 
strictest,  the  most  reformed,  the  most  splendid  in 
outward  pomp  and  glory,  or  of  whatsoever  excellency 
else  you  can  imagine,  you  ^vill  never  be  saved  in  it 
yourselves,  as  long  as  your  hearts  are  unconverted. 
I  know  the  papists  have  found  out  many  devices,  by 
sacraments,  and !  ceremonies,  and  the  merits  of  the 
saints,  to  patch  up  the  defect  of  thorough  conversion; 
but  all  are  mere  deluders  that  pretend  to  such  a  thing, 
O  then,  think  of  this,  poor  sinner:    Ha§t  thou 
gone  so  far,  and  done  so  much,  and  shall  all  be  lost, 
because  thou  wilt  not  follow ^it  to  the  end>  Hast  thou 


groaned,  ^nd  wept,  and  confessed,  and  h^ta&aned 
thine  own  condition  ?  Ha&t  thou  prayfed,  and  relad, 
and  heard,  and  fasted^  and  changed  thy  company,  and 
much  of  thy  course  of  life  ?  And  shall  all  this  be 
lost,  for  want  of  going  to  the  bottom,  and  making 
a  thorough  work  of  it  ?    What  a  loss'will  this  be ! 

4.  Consider  also,  what  an  afdnairable  help  and 
advantage  it  will  be  to  you,  through  the  whole' 
course  of  your  lives,  if  the  work  of  convdrsion  be 
once  thoroughly  wrought.  I  will  show  you  this  in 
some  particulars. 

First,  it  will  be  an  excellent  help  to  your  under- 
standings, ag?dnst  the, grosser  errors  of  the  world, 
and  will  establish  you  in  the  truth  much  more  than 
mere  arguments  can  do ;  for  you  will  be  able  to  speak 
for  the  truth  from  feeling  and  experience :  he  that 
hath  the.  law  written  both  in  his  Bible  and  in  his 
heart,  is  likely  to  hold  it  faster  than  he  that  hath  it 
in  his  Bible  alone> 

Secondly,  If  you  be  but  thoroughly  converted,  ybii. 
will  have  a  continual  help  against  temptations:  you 
iiave  not  only  experience  of  t'he  mischief  of  sinning, 
and  the  folly  of  those  reasons  which  are  fefought  for 
its  defence;  but  you  have  also  a  new  nature  which 
is  against. fthe  temptation,  as  life  is  against  poison: 
and  as  it  is  a  great  disadvantage  to  the  law  of  Christj 
that  it  speaks  against  the  nature  of  the  ungodly;  so 
it  is  a  disadvantage  to  the  temptations  of  the  deviJ, 
that,  they  would  draw  a  Christian  against  his  new 
nature.  You  have  that  within  you  that  will  plead- 
more  effectually  against  sensuality,  uncbaritablefiess, 
pride,  or  worldliness,  or  any  the  like  sins,  than  reason 
or  leaj^ning  alone  can. 

Thirdly,  If  conversion  be  thoroughly  wrought,  you 
w^iJi  have  within  you  a  continu'al  helper-  of  your 

»IRECTI0N8   TO   THE   tJNCONVERTED.         149 

graces,  and  a  remembrance  to  put  yoa  in  mind  of 
duty,  and  a  spur  to  put  you  on  to  the  performance, 
andafurthererofyoursoulsin  the  performance  itself : 
it  is  out  of  this  spark  and  principle  within  ^oii,  that 
the  Holy  Ghost  doth  raise  the  arts  of  grace.  That  is 
it  that  the  word,  and  prayer,  and  conference,  and 
sacraments,  and  all  the  means  of  grace,  must  work 
upon.  If  we  see  you  do  amiss,  we  have  hopes  that 
you  will  hear  us ;  if  we  plainly  reprove  you,  we  may 
Jook  you  should  take  it  in  good  part ;  for  you  have 
'that  within  you  that  saith  as  we  say,  and  is  at  deadly 
enmity  with  thesin  which  we  reprove.  If  we  provoke 
you  to  love  and  to  good  work's,  we  dare  almost 
promise  ourselves  that  you  will  obey ;  for  you  have 
that  within  you  that  disposetb  you  to  the  duty,  and 
preacheth  our  sermons  to  you  over  again.  O  what 
an  advantage  it  is  to  our  teaching,  when  you  are  all 
taught  of  God  within,  as  well  as  by  his  messengers 
without  I  But  when  we  speak  to  the  Unconverted, 
we  have  little  to  work  upon:  we  give  physic  to  the 
dead;  we  speak  all  against  the  bent  of  their  souls  ; 
and  every  reproof  and  exhortation  to  holiness  goes 
against  their  very  natures:  and  therefore  whafwbrider 
if  we  have  smaller'  hopes  to  prevail  ? 

Fourthly,  If  the  work  be  thoroughly  done  at  first, 
it  will  help  to  resolve  many  doubts  that  may  be 
afterwards  cast  into  your  minds.  You  need  not  be  still 
at  a  loss,  and  looking  behind  you,  and  questioning 
your  foundation,  but  may  go  cheerfully  and  boldly 
on.  O  what  an  excellent  encoui'agement  is  this  !  to 
know  that  you  have  hitherto  made  good  your  ground, 
and  left  all  safer  and  sure  behind  you,  and  have  nothing 
to  do  but  to  look  before  you,  and  press  on  towards 
the  mark,  till  you  lay  hold  upon  the  prize !  whereas 
if  you  be  in  any  great  doubt  of  your  conversion,  it 


will  be  stopping  you  and  discburaging  you  in  all  yout 
work:  you  will  be  still  l9oking  behind tyou  and  saying, 
What  if  I  should  yet  be  unconverted  ?  When  you 
shpuld  cheerfully  [address  yourselves  to  prayer  or 
sacrarafents,  how  sadly  will  you  go,  as  being  utterly 
uncertain  whether  you  have  a  saving  right  to  them, 
or  whether  God  will  accept  a  sacrifice  at  your  hand  ? 
When  you  should  grow  and  go  forward,  you  will  have 
little  heart  to  it,  because  you  know  not  whether  you 
are  yet  in  the  way ;  and  this  will  damp  your  life  and 
comfort  in  every  duty,  when  you  must  say,  I  know  not 
yet,  whether  I  be  thoroughly  converted.  O  therefore 
stop  not  the  work  at  first. 

Fifthly,  If  the  work  be  thoroughly  done  at  first, 
you  will  persevere,  when  others  fall  away.  You  will 
have  rooting  in  yourselves,  entertaining  the  seed  as 
into  depth  of  earth;  and  you  will  have  the  Holy 
Ghost  within  you,  and  (more  than  so)  engaged  for 
your  preservation,  aiid  the  perfecting- of  your  salva- 
tion :  when  they  that  received  the  word  as  seed  upon 
a  rock,  and  never  gave  it  deep  entertainment,  will 
wither  and  fall  away  in  the  time  of  trial ;  and  from 
them  that  have  not  saving  grace,  shall  be  taken  away 
even  that  which  they  seemed  to  have."?*, 

Sixthly,  and  lastly,  consider,  If  you  fall  short  of 
a  true  conversion  at  the  first,  the  devil  will  take 
occasion  by  it  to  tempt  you  at  last  to  utter  despair. 
When  you  have  made  many  essays  and  trials,  and 
been  about  the  work  again  and  again,  he  will  persuade 
you  that  there  is  no  possibility  of  accomplishing  it. 
If  we  convince  an  open  profane  person  that  is  un- 
converted, he  may  easier  see  that  there  is  l;iopes  of  it: 
but  if  a  map  have  been  half  converted,  and  lived  long 
in  a  formal  self-deceiving  profession  of  religioji,  and 

*  Matt.  xiii.  12. — xxv.  29. 


been  taken  by  himself  and  others  for  a  godly  man, 
as  It  is  very  hard  to  convince  this  man  that  he  is 
unconverted;  so  when  he  is  convinced  of  it,  he  will 
easily  fall  into  desperation.— For  Satan  will  tell  him, 
If  thou  be  ye.t  uncpnverted  after  so  many  confessions 
and  prayers,  and  after  so  long  a  course  of  religion, 
what  hope  canst  thou  have  that  yet  it  should  be 
done?  Thou  wilt  never  have  better  opportunities 
than  thou  hast  had.  If  such  sermons  as  thou  hast 
heard  could  not  do  it,  what  hope  i*  there  of  It?  If 
such  books,  and  ^uch  company,  and  such  mercies, 
and  such  afflictions,  have  not  done  it,  what  hope  canst 
thou  have?  Canst  thou  hear  any  livelier  teaching 
than  thou  hast  heard  ?  or  speak  any  holier  words  than 
thou  hast  spoken  ?  If  yet  the  work,  be  quite  undone, 
it  is  not  forsaking  anothef  sin,  nor  going  a  step  further,' 
that  will, do  it:  and  therefore  never  think  of  it;  for 
there  is  no  hope.  .Dost  thou  not  know  how  oft  thou 
hast  tried  in  vain?  And  what  canst  thou  do  more? 
And  thus  you  give  advantages  to  the  tempter  by  your 
first  delays,  and  taking  up  in  mere  preparatories 
And  therefore  I  beseech  you,  ag^'you  love  your  souls, 
take  heed  of  resisting  the  Spirit  of  grace,  and  breaking 
off  the  work  before  it  is  thoroughly  done;  but  go  to 
the  bottom,  and  follow  it  on  till  it  be  accomplished 
in  sincerity.  And  now,  hopfng,  that  upon  these 
considerations  you  are  resolved  to  do  your  best,  I  shall 
come  to  the  thing"  which  I  principally  intended:  which 
is,  to  give  you  certain  directions,  which  if  you  will 
obeyj,  you  may  be  converts  and  saints  indeed. 

Direction- 1.  Lest  the  work  of  conversion  §hould 
miscarry  where  it  seemeth  to  be  begun,  or  in  a 
hopeful  way,  I  first  advise  you  to  labour  after  a  right 
understanding  of  the  true  nature  of  Christianity,  and 
the  meaning  of  the  gospel  which  is  sent  to  convert 


you.  You  are  naturally  slaves  to  tbie  prince  of 
darkness,  and  live  in  a  state  of  darkness,  and  do  the 
work  of  darkness,  and  are  hasting  apace  to  utter 
darkness.  And  it  is  the  light  of  saving,  knowledge 
that  must  recover  you,  or  there  is  no  reicovery.  God 
is  the  Father  of  light,  and  dwelleth  in  light;  Christ  is 
the  light  of  the  world ;  his  ministers  are  also  the 
lights  of  the  world,  as  under  him,  and  are  sent  to 
turn  men  from  darkness  to  light  by  the  gpspel,  which 
is  the  light  to  our  feet :  and  this  is  to  make  us  children 
of  light,  that  we  may  no  more  do  the  works  of  dark- 
ness, but  may  be  partakers  of  the  inheritance  of  the 
saints  in  light.  Believe  it,  darkness  is  not  the  way 
to  the  celestial  glory.  'Ignorance  is  your  disease,  and 
knowledge  must  be  your  cure.  I  know  the  ignorant 
have  many  excuses,  and  are  apt  to  think  that  the  case 
is  not  so  bad  with  them  as  we  make  it  to  be ;  and  tliat 
there  is  no  such  aeed  of  knowledge,  but  a  man  may 
be  saved  without  it.  But  this  is  because  they  wapt 
that  knowledge  that  should  show  them  the  mercy  of 
their  ignorance,  and  the  worth  of  knowledge.  Hath 
not  the  scripture  plainly  told  you,  That  if  the  gospel 
be  hid,  it  is  hid  to  them  that  are  lost,  whose  minds 
the  God  of  this  world  bath  blinded,  lest  the  light 
of  the  glorious  gospel  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of 
God,  should  shine  unto  them.  I  know  that  many 
that  have  much  knowledge,  are  ungodly.  But  what  of 
that  ?  Can  any  man  therefore  be  go^ly,  or  be  saved, 
without  knowledge?  You  may  have  a  bad  servant, 
that  yet  is  skilful  enough  in  his  work;  but  yet  you 
will  not  mend  the  matter,  by  taking  one  that  h^th 
no  skill  at  all.  You  may  send  a  man  on  your  errand 
that  knows  the  way,  and  yet  will  not  go  it,  but  loiter 
and  deceive  you  ;  but  what  of  that  ?  Will  you  think 
to  mend  the  matter,  by  sending  one  that  knoweth  not 

OtRECTiONS   -to   TltE   UNCON^EilTEE«.  l53 

a  Step  of  the  \vayj' nor  will  not  learn  it?  Th6ugh  a 
man  ofknowledge  may  be  a  servant  of  the  devil,  yet 
no  man  without  knowledge  (that  hat'h'thie  uSe  of  his 
r^son)'can  be  the  servant  of  God.  A:;man  may  g^  to 
hell  with  knowledge  j  but  he  certainly  shall  go  to  hell 
without  it.  Ido  ndt  say  that  you*  must  all  be  men 
of  learnings  arid  skilled  iri  the  arts  and  sciences,  and 
language^;  but  you  must,  have  the  knowledge  of  a 
Christian,  though  not  of  a  scholar  J'  Can  'you  love 
or  serve  a  God  that  you  know  not?  Can  you  let 
go  friends,  and  gdbds,  and  life,  for  a  glory  which  you 
have  no  knowledge  of?  Can  you  make  it  the  principat 
business^  of  your  lives,  to  seek  for  a  heaven  whosfe 
excellencies  you  know  not  of?  Can  you  lament  your 
sin  and  misery,  when  you  are  unacquainted  with  it? 
or  will  you  strive  against  sin,  as  the  greatest  evil,' 
when  you  know  not  the  evil  of  it  ?  Will  you  believe 
in  a  Christ  whom  yciu  do  not  know,  and  trust  your 
souls  and  all  upbn  him?  Will  you  rest  upon  a 
promise,  or  fear  a  threatening,'  or  be*  ruled  by  a  law, 
which  you  do  not  understand  ?  It  is  not  possible  to 
be  Christians,  without  knowing  the  substance  of 
Christianity ;  nor  is  it  possible  for  you  to  be  saved* 
without  knowing  the  way  of  salvation. 

Labour  theriefore  to  be  well  acquainted  with  the 
grounds,  and  reasons,  and  nature,  of  your  religion. 
The  clearer  your  light  is,  the  warmer  and  livelier 
your  hearts  will  be.  Illumination  is  the  first  part  of 
sanctification.  The  head  is  the  passage  to  the  heart. 
0,  if  you  did  but  thoroughly  know  what  sin  is,  and 
what  a  life  it  is  to  serve  the  flesh,  and  what  the  end 
of  this"  will  prove,  with  what  detestation  would  you 
cast  it  away !  If  yoif  did  thoroughly  know  what  a 
life  of  holiness  is,  how  speedily  would  you  choose 
it !  If  you  did  truly  know  what  God  is,  how  infinitely 


powerful,  an^  wise,  and  good,  how  holy,  £>nd  just, 
and  true;  and  what  title  he  hath  to  you,  and  authority 
over  you,  and  what  an  eternal  portion  he  would  be  to 
yqu;  how  is  it  possi|)le  that  you  could  prefer  the  dirt 
of  the  world  before  him,  or  delay  any  longer  to  return 
unto  him  !  If  you  did  but  truly  know  what  Christ  is, 
9nd  what  h6  hath  done  and  suffered  for  you,  and  what 
that  pardon,  and  grace,,  and  glory,  are  which  he  hath 
purchased  for  ybu,  and  you,  and  how  sure 
his  promise'is  by  which  it  is  offered ;  it  is  not  popsible 
that  you  should  refuse  to  entertain  him,  or  delay  to 
give  up  your  souk  unto  him.  Do  you  think  a  man 
that  truly  knows  what  heaven  is,  and  what  hell  is, 
can  still  be  in  doubt  whether  he  should  turn  or  not? 
Alas,  sirs  !  if  God  would  but  open  your  eyes,  to  see 
where  you  are,  and  what  you  are  doing,  you  would 
run  as  if  for  your  lives ;  and  quickly  change  your  mind^ 
and  ways.  You  would  no  more  stay  in  your  carnal 
state,  than  you  would  stay  in  a  house  th^t  was  falling 
down  on  your  heads,  or  in  a  ship  that  you  perceive 
sinking  under  you,  or  on  the  sands  when  you  see  the 
tide  coming  towards  you.  If  your  house  or  chamber 
were  all  in  flames  about  you,  you  would  not  stand  to 
ask  whether  you  isbouldbe  gone;  and  sure  then,  if 
you  knew  how  the  devils  are  about  you,  bow  they 
deceive  you,  and  rule  you,  and  wait  to  drag  you  to 
hell,  you  would  never  stay  a  night  longer  willingly  in 
such  a  state.  While  men  understand  not  what  the 
gospel  means,  nor  what  a  minister  saith  unto  tliem, 
no  wonder  if  they  regard  them  not,  but  continue  in 
their  sin.  If  you  see  a  bear  or  a  mad  dog.  making 
towards  a  man,  and  tell  him  of  it,  and  call  him  to  be 
gone,  if  he  be  a  man  of  another  language,  and  do  not 
understand  you,"  he  will  make  never  th^  more  haste; 
but  if  he  understand  and  believe  you,  he  will  away. 

filRtecriONS   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED.         155 

If  pe6ple  think  that  ministers  are  in  jest  with  them, 
or  that  they  are  uncertain  of  what  they  say,  no  marvel 
if  they  hear  us  in  jest,  or  as  men  that  believe  not 
what  they  hear:  but  if  you  knew  that  your  lives  lay 
on  it,  yea,  your  everlasting  life,  would  you  not  regard 
it,  and  look  about  you  ?  Now  you  ^tand  deliberating 
and  questioning  the  business,  whether  you  should 
tum,  and  let  go  sin,  or  not:  but  if  you  knew  that 
you  must  certainly  have  hell  with  it  if  yoakeep  it, 
methink?  y6ur  doubt  should  quickly  be  resolved,  and 
you  should  be  loath  to  give  another  night's  lodging  to 
so  chargeable  and  dangerous  a  guest. 

Now,  when  we  persuade  you  to  holiness  of  life,  you 
will  demur  on  it,  as  if  there  were  some  doubtfulness 
in  the  matter:  but  if  you  knew  the  nature  and  end 
of  holiness,  you  would  soon  be  put  of  doubt:  and  if 
you  knew  but  bow  much  happier  you  might  be  with 
God,  you  would  never  stick  at  the  parting  with  your 
most  delightful  sins.  As  the  Jews  rejected  Christ, 
and  preferred  a  murderer  before  him,  and  cried  out, 
Crucify  him !  and  all  because  they  did  not  know 
him;  so  you  let  Cbrist  knock  and  call,  and  offer 
you.saivatioo^  and  you  stand  questioning  whether  you 
should  obey  his  call,  and  whether  you  should  not 
prefer  your  lusts  before  him ;  and  all  because  you 
knovv  him  not,  nor  the  grace  and  glory  which  he 
tendereth  to  you.  When  men  understand  not  the 
reasons  of  God  that  should  prevail  with  them,  no 
wxsBder  if  they  part  not  with  that  which  is  as  dear 
to  them  as  their  lives.  But  when  once  they  know 
the  reasons  of  Christianity,  (those  moving,  weighty, 
undeniable  reasons,  that  are  fetched  from  God,  and 
heaven,  and  hell,)  ^they  will  then  stand  questioning 
the  matter  no  longer ;  but  they  will  resign  up  all,  even 
life  itself.    All  this  I  speak  of  a  spiritual,  powerful, 


and  a  practical  knowledge :  :and.not  of  every  ;5wjmining 
opinion  and  conceit.  , 

,  Study,  thereforej  what  God  is,  and  what  he  is  to 
you,  and  what, he  would  be  to  you.  Study,  what  sin 
is,  and  what  the  damnation  is  which  it  desprveth. 
Study  what  Christ  is,  and,  hath  donje  and  suffered  for 
you,  and  what  he  is  willing  to  .do,  if  you  neglpct  him 
not.  Study  what  the  world  is,  and  what  is  the  utmost 
that  sin  will  do  for  you..  Study  what  the  everlasting 
glory  is,  which  you  may  have  with  God,  if  you  lose 
it  not  by  your  folly.  And  study  what  faith  is,  and 
what  rejjentance  is,  and  what  love,,  and;  joy,  and  a 
holy  and. heavenly  life  is,  and  how  little  reason  you 
have  to  be  afraid  of  them.  If  this  understanding 
have  but '  deeply  possessed -you,  it  will  bias  your 
hearts,  and  make  you  resolved,  settled  converts.   : 

Directiion  II.  If  you  would  not  have  jthe  vjrork  of 
your  conversion  miscarry,  vvheji  you  understand  what 
}s  offered  you,  then  search  the  scriptures  daily,:to  see 
whether  those  things  be  so  or  not, 

Sto  did  the  Bereans.*  And  the  text  saith,  that 
therefore  they  believed.  We  come  not  to  cheat  and 
deceive  you ;  and  therefore  we  desire  not  that  you 
should  take  any  thing  from, us,  but  what  we  can  prove 
to  you  from  the  word  of  God  to  be  certainly  ^true. 
We  desire  not  to  lead  you  in  the  dark,  but  by  the 
light  to  lead  you  out  of  darkniBss';^and  therefore  we 
refuse  not  to  submit  all  our  doctrine  to  an  equal, trial. 
Though  we  would  not  have  you  wrong  your  souls  by 
an  unjust  distrust  of  us;  yet  would  w'e  not  desire 
you  to  take  these  great  and  weighty  things  merely 
upoq.our  words:  for  then  yoiir  faith  will  be  in  man  ; 
and  then  no  marvel  if  it  be  weak  and  ineffectual,  and 
auickly  shaken.    If  you  trust  a  map  to-day,  you  may 

*  Acts  xvii.  1  J. 


distrust  him  to-morrow;  and  if  one  man  be  of  the 
greatest  credit  with  you  this  year,,  another,  of  a 
contrary  mind,  may  b6  of  more  credit  with  you  the 
next  year.  And  therefore  we  desire  no  further  to  be 
believed'by  you,  than  is  necessary  toJead  you  up  to 
God,  and  to  help' you  to  understand  that  word  which 
you  must  believe :  our  desire  therefore  is,  that  you 
search  the  scripture,  and  try  whether  the  things  which 
we  tell  you  be  the  truth.  The  word  will  never  work 
on  you'  to  purpose,  till  you  hear  and  see  God  in  it, 
^nd* perceive  thair  it  is  he,  and  not  man  only,)  that 
speaks  to  you.  When  you  hear  none  speaking  to 
you  but  the  iriinister,  no  marvel  if  you  dare  despise 
him,  for  he  is  a  frail  and  silly  man  like  yourselves; 
when  you  think  that  the  doctrine  which  we  preach 
Knto  you  is  merely  of  our  own  devising,  and.  the 
conjecture  of  our  own  brain,  no  marvel  if:  you  set 
light  by  it,  and  will  not  let  go  all  that  you  have,  at 
the  persuasion  of  a  preacher.  But  .when  you  have 
searched  the  scripture,  and  find  that  it  is  the  word  of 
the  God  of  heaven,  dare  you  despise  it  then  ?  When 
you  there  find  that  , we  said  no  more  than  we  were 
comnlanded,  and  God  that  hath  spoken  ,this  word 
\vill  stand  to  it ;  then  Sure  it  will  go  nearer  you,  and 
you  will  consider  of  it,  and  make  light  of  it  no  more. 
If  we  offered  you  bad  wares,  we  .should  desire  a  dark 
shop;  and  if  our  gold  were  light  or  bad,  we  should 
not  call  for  the  balance  a;id  the  touchstone.  But 
when  we  are  sure  the  things  that  we  speak  are  true, 
we  desire  nothing  more  than  trial.  Beauty  and  Come- 
liness have  no  advantage  of  loathsome  jdeforiiiity, 
when  they  are  both  together, in  the  dark;  but  the 
light  will  show  the  difference. — Error  may  be  a  loser 
by  the  light,  and  therefore  shuns  it.  But  truth  is  a 
gainer  by  it,  and  therefore  seeks  it.     Let  papists  hide 


the  scriptures  from  the  people,  and  forbid  the  reading 
of  them  in  a  tongue  which  they  understand,  and  teach 
them  to  speak  to  God  they  know  not  what ;  we  dare 
not  do  so,  nor  do  we  desire  it :  our  doctrine  will  not 
go  off  well  in  the  dark ;  and  therefore  we  call  you  to 
the  law  and  to  the  testimony,  and  desire  you  to  take 
our  words  into  the  light,  and  see  whether  they  are 
according  to  the  word  of  the  Lord.  Nothing  troubleth 
us  more  than  that  we  cannot  persuade  our 
this  trial.  Some  of  them  are  so  hardened  in  their  sin 
and  misery,  that  they  will  not  be  at  so  much  labour 
as  to  open  their  Bibles,  and  try  whether  we  say  true 
or  not.  Some  of  them  will  not  trouble  their  minds 
with  the  thoughts  of  it :  God  is  not  in  all  their 
thoughts."^  And  some  are  already  too  wise  to  learn ; 
they  will  not  so  long  abate  their  confidence  of  their 
former  opinions  ;  though,  poor  souls,  their  ignorance 
do  threaten  their  damnation.  And  some  are  so  engaged 
in  a  sinful  party,  that  their  companions  will  not  give 
jthetn  leave  to  make  so  much  question  of  the  way  that 
they  are  in;  and  some  will  scarce  take  the  scripture 
for  the  rule  by  which  they  must  try  and  be  tried; 
but  look  more  to  custom,  and  the  will  of  those  in 
power  over  them.  And  most  are  unwilling  to  try, 
because  they  are  unwilling  to  know  the  truth,  and 
cannot  endure  to  find  themselves  miserable,  nor  see 
the  sin  which  they  would  not  leave,  nor  see  the  duty 
which  they  love  not  to  practise.  And  thus  we  cannot 
get  them  to  try  whether  the  things  that  we  teach 
.them  be  so. 

For  want  of  this  it  is,  that  men  deceive  themselves, 

and  think  their  case  to  be  safe  when  it  |s  miserable, 

because  they  will  not  try  it  by  the  word.    This  makes 

them  rage  and  be  confident  in  their  folly,  and  laugh 

*  Psalm  X.  4. 


and  sing  at  the  brink  of  hell,  and  swim  as  merrily 
down  the  stream  to  the  devouring  gulf,  as  if  no  evil 
were  near  them.     This  makes  them  in  the  depth  of 
misery  to  have  no  pity  on  themselves,  and  to  do  so 
little  to  escape  it:  though  they  have  time  and  means, 
and  helps  at  hand,  yet  there  are  not  hearts  in  them 
to  make  use  of  them  ;  yea,  they  run  themselves  daily 
further  on  the  score ;  and  all  because  we  cannbt  get 
them  to  search  the  scripture,  and  try  whether  sin 
be  so  small  a  matter,  and  whether  this  will  not  be 
bjtt^rtiess  in  the  ^d. — ^Hence  it  is,  that  they  are  sa 
easily  drawn  by  a  temptation,  and  that  they  dislike 
a  holy  life ;  and  have  base  thoughts  of  them  that  are 
most  diligent  for  salvation,  and  are  most  precious  in 
the  eyes  of  God  ;  and  that  they  can  even  deride  the 
Way  that  they  thbuld  walk  in  ;  because  they  will  not 
search  the  scripture,  to  see  what  it  saith  to  these 
matters.     The  word  is  a  light,  and  would  do  much 
to  open  their  eyes,  and  win  them  over  to  God,  if  they 
would  but  come  to  it  with  a  desire. to  know  the  truth. 
You  think  that  the  ungodly  that  are  ricb  and  greats 
are  in  a  better  condition  than  a  godly  man  that  is 
poor  and  despised.     And  why  is  this,  but  because 
you  will  not  go  into  the  sanctuary,  and  see  in  what' 
a  i^ippery  place  they  stand,  apd  what  will  be  the  end 
of  these  men  ?     In  a  word,  this  is  the  undoing  of 
millions  of  souls.     They  are  all  their  lifetime   out 
of  the  way  to  heaven,  and  yet  will  not  be  persuaded 
to  ask  the  way;  but  they  run  and  wink,  and  put  it  to 
the  venture.    .  Many  a  thousand  are  gone  out  of  the 
world,  before  they  ever  spent  the  quantity  of  one  day 
in  trying,  by  the  scripture,  whether  their  state  vvere 
good,  and  their  way  were  right.  Nay,  let  their  teachers 
tell   them  that  they  must  be  sanctified,   ^nd   take 
another  course,  they  will  differ  firom  their  teachers. 


though  they  be  ever  so  wise  and  learned ;  and  they 
will  contradict  them,  and  not  believe  nor  regard  them. 
And  yet  vye  cannot  get  them  to  come  to  us,  and  put 
the  case  to.  the  trial,  and  let  the  scripture  be  the 
judge.  Would  they  but  do  this,  they  could  never 
sure  have  such  hard  thoughts  of  their  teachers,  and 
be  offended  at  their,  plainest,  closest  dealing.  You 
would,  then  say,  "  I  see  now  the  minister  says  not 
this  of  himself; -he  speaks  but  that  which  God  com- 
mandeth  him:  and  if  he  would  not  deliver  the  message 
of  the  Lord,  he  were  unworthy  and  unfit  to  be  his 
ambassador:  he  were  cruel  to  me,  if  he  would  not 
pull  me  out  of  the  firej  by  the  plainest,  closest  means. 
He  hated  me,  if  he  would  not  rebuke  me,  but  suffer 
sin.  upon  me.  If  he  would  please  men,  he  should  not 
be  the  servant  of  Christ.  I  know  it  is  no  pleasure  to 
him  to  trouble  me,  or  to  provoke  me:  but  it  would  be 
his  own  destruction,  if  he  tell  me  not  of  my  danger. 
And  I  have  no  reason  to  wish  him  to  damn  his  own 
soul,  and  suffer  me  to  do  the  like  by  mine,  and  all  for 
fear  of  .displeasing  me  in  my  sin."  These  would  be 
your  thqughts,  if  you  would  but  try  our  words  by 
the  scripture,  and  see  whether  we  speak  not  the  mind 
of  God. 

And  sure  it  would  go  somewhat  deeper  in  yoijr 
hearts,  and  it  would  stick  by  you,  and  be  more  before 
your  eyes  when  you  once  understood  that  it  is  the 
word -of  God. 

This  then  is  my  request  to  you,  sirs,  that  tbe  work 
of  your  conversion  may  not  miscarry.  That  you  would 
carry  all  that  you  hear  to  the  scripture,  and  search 
there,  and  see  whether  if  be  so  or  not,  that  so  you 
may  be  put  out  of  doubt,  and  may  be  at  acertainty, 
and  not  stand  wavering;  and  that  your  faith  may^be 
resolved  into  the  authority  of  God;  anij  so  the  work 


may  be  divine,  and  consequently  powerful  and, pre- 
vailing, when  the  ground  and  motive  is  divine,  l^ 
you  be  not  satisfied  in  the  doctrine  which  the  minister 
delivereth  to  you,  first  search  the  scripture  yourselves; 
and  if  that  will 'not  do,  go  to  him,  and  desire  him  to 
show  you  his  grounds  for  it  in  the  word  of  God,  and 
join  with  you  in  prayer  for  a  right  understanding  of 
it.  Do  you|-  question  whether  there  be  so  severe  a 
judgment,  and  a  heaven  and  a  hell,  as  ministers  tell 
you?;  Search  the  scripture,  in  Matt.  xxv.  and  3  Thess. 
1.  8,  9,  10.  John  V,  29.  Matt.  xiii.  Do  you  question 
whether  a  man  may  not  be  saved  without  conversion, 
regeneration,  and  holiness  ?  -  Open  your  Bibles,  and 
see  what  God  saith,  John  iii.  6.  Matt,  xviii.  3.  2,Cor. 
V.  17.  Rom.  viii.9.  Heb.  xii.  14.  Do  you  think  a 
man  may  be  saved  without  knowledge  ?  Let  scripture 
judge,  3  Cor.  iv.  3,  4.  John  !xvii.  3.  Hos.  iv.  6.  Do 
you  think  a  man  may  be  saved  that  doethas  the  most 
do,  and  goeth  in  the  Common  way  of  the  world? 
Search  the  sCripture  and  see,  Matt.  vii.  13.  and.xx. 
16.  and  xxii.  14.  Luke  xii.  33.  Do  you.  think  an 
unhumbled  soul  may  be  saved,  that  never  was  contrite 
and  brokenhearted  for  sin  ?  Try  by  Isaiah  Ivii.  15.  and. 
Ixvi.  3.  Psalm  li.  17.  Luke  iv.  18.  Matthew  xi.  38. 
Do  you  think  a  man  can  be  the  servant  of  God,  that 
jiv.eth  a  fleshly  life,  and  will  keep  his  sin?  Try  by 
Rom.  viii.  13.  John  iii.  13.  Eph.  v.  5,6.,  1  John  iii. 
9,  10.  •  Do  you  doubt  whether  it  be  necessary  to 
make  so  much  ado  to  be  saved,  and  to  be  so  strict, 
and  make  religion  your  chiefest  business  ?  Try  by 
"Psalrn  i.  1,  2,3.  1  Pet.  iv.  18.  Heb.  xii.  14.  Luke 
X.  42.  and  xiii.  24.  Eph.  v.  15,  16.  Do  you  think 
a  man  can  be  saved  that  is  a  worldling,  whose  heart 
is  more  on  earth  than  heaiven  ?  T/ry  by  1  John  ii.  15. 
Phil.  iii.  19.    Col.  iii.  1.    Luke  xiv.  26.  33/ Do  you 

'  Y  '        '        '     .  , 


dou|jt  whetiaer  you  should  serve  God  ^itb  your 
families,  and  instruct  theijn,  and  pray  with  them? 
'  Try  by  J«sh.  xxiv.  15.  Deut.  vi.  7.  t)axi.  vi,  10,11. 
Exod.  ?£x.  10.         ■ 

Thus,  if  you  will  in  all  these  weighty  matters  but 
go  to  the  scripture,  and  see  whether  it  says  «s  your 
teiichers  say,  you  noight  soon  be  resolved,  ^ad  that 
by  the  surest  authority  in  the  world.  If  you  think 
that  your  ministers  may  be  deceived^  I  hope  you  will 
confess  that  God;  cannot  be  deceived.  If  you  think 
that  your  ministers  are  passionate,  or  self-i?pnceited, 
or  speak  out  of  ill-will  to  you,  1  hope  you  d^re  not 
say  so  by  the  Lord:  he  owes  you  no  ill-will,,  nor 
speaks  a,  word  bu*  what  is  most  sure.  If  you  think  us 
partial,  s;urely  God  is  impartial  I  What  better  judge 
caii  you  have  now,  th^n  he  that  is  infallible,  and  must 
j>adge  you  all  at  the  last?  The  law  is  m^de  to  judge 
you,  and  not,  to  be  judged  by  you.  None  can  be  the 
proper' judges  of  the  sense  of  the  law,  but  the  maker 
of  it;  though  otheES  must  judge  their  case  by  the 
law.  Your' work  is  to  discern  it,  and  understand  and 
obey  it;' and  our  work  is  tohidp  you  to  understand 
it;  but  it  is  neither  out  work  nor  yours,  to  be  the 
pcopef  or  absolute  judges  of  it.;  At  least  where  it 
speaks  plain^  it  needs  no  judge.  :  ' 

Come  then  to  the  word  in,  meekness  and  .humility, 
with  a  teacbiabte  framie  of  spirit,  and  a  willingness  to 
know  the  truth,  and  a  resolution  toi stand' (o  it,  and 
yield  to  what  shall  be  revealed  to  you;  and  beg  of 
God  to  show  you  his  will,  .anid  lead  you  into  the 
truth,  and  you  will  find  that  he  will  be  found  of  them 
that  seek  him. 

Direetion  III.  If  you  would  not  have  the  work  of 
your  conversion  miscarry,  «iy  next  advice  is  this : 

See  that  you  be  much  in  tlie  serious  cQnsijJeraitioQ 

mUECTIONS   TO   THE   UNCONVfifttEt).        163 

of  the  truths  which  you  wtiderstand,  hietween  God 
aod  you  in  secret. 

'  I  have  often  spoken  of  this  h^iretofore ;  but  because 
I  apprehend  it  to  be  a  point  of  exceeding  great 
concernment,  I  shall  be  longer  on  it  agaan  than  on 
the  rest. 

The  greatest  matters  in  the  world  will  not  worlc 
much  upon  him  that  will  not  think  of  them.  Consi- 
deration opens  the  ears  that  are  stopped,  &nd  the  heart 
that  was  sh<lt  up;  it  sets  the  powers  of  the  soul  to 
wdrk^  aed  awakeifeth  it  from  the  sleep  of  incogitancy 
atjid  security.  The  thoughts  are  -the  first  actings  of 
the  soul,  that  set  a-w«wk  the  rest.  Thinking  on  the 
matters  that  must  make  us  wisej,  land  do  the  work  of 
G^d  on  the  heart,  is  that  which  lieth  on  us  to  do  in 
order  to  our  bonversidfi,  By  consideration  a  sinner 
ttiakes  use  of  the  truth,  'which  before,  aiid 
therefore  could  do  hothing.  By  consideration  b6 
taketh  in  the  medlcioe  t<!>  his  isoul,  which  befofe  sto6d 
by,  and  could  not  work.  By  consideration  a  man 
makes  use  of  his  reason,  which  beforewas  laid  Asleepi 
and  therefore  could  not  do  his  work.  When  th6 
master  is  from  home,  the  scholars  will  be  at  play. 
When  the  coachman  is  asleep,  the  hot-ses  may  mfes 
the  way,  and  p&ssibly  brteak  his  neck  and  their  own. 
If  the  pldughtntan  gO  his  way,  the  oxen  will  stand 
still,  or  make  but  very  irregular  work. — So  when 
reason,  laid  afsleep,  is  out  of  the  way,  what  may  not 
the  appetite  do?  And  what  may  not  the  passions  do? 
And  what  ttiay  not  tetnptations  do  with  the  sOul  ? 
A  wise  man,  when  he  is  asleep;  hath  as  little  use  of 
his  wisdom  as  a  fool.  A  learned  man,  when  Jie  is 
asleep,  can  hardly  dispute,  with  an  unlearned  man 
that  is  awtike.  A  strong  man  that  is  ever  so  skilful 
at  his  vre&pdnS,  is  scarce  able,  in  his  sleep,  to  deal 


with  the  weakest  child  that  is  awake.     Why,  all  the 
powers  of  your  soul  are  as  it  were  asleep,  tjU  con-, 
sideration  awake  them,  and  set  them  at  work.     And 
what  the  better  are  you. for  being  men,  and  having 
reason,  if  you  have  not  the  use  of  your  reason  when 
you  need  it?   As  men  are  inconsiderate  because  they  . 
are  wicked,  so  they  aie  the  more  wicked  because 
they  are  inconsiderate.      The    keenest  sword,   the 
greatest  cannon,  Will   do  no  execution   against  an 
ene!my  while  they  lie  by,  and  are  not  used.     Thece 
is  a  mighty  power  in  the,  word  of  God,  and  the 
example  df  Christ,  to  pull  down  strong  holds,  and 
conquer  the  strongest  lusts  and  corruptions.     But 
they  will  not  do  this  while  they  are  forgotten  and 
neglected.     Will  heaven  entice  the  man  that  thinks 
not  of  it  ?   Will  hell  deter  the  man  that  thinks  not  of 
it  ?  Why  is  it  that  all  the  reasoning  in  the  world  will 
do  no  more  good  to  a  man  that  is  deaf,  than  if  you 
said  nothing?  But  because  the  passage  to  his  thoughts 
and  understanding  is  stopped  up.     And  if  you  have 
eyes  and  see  not,  and  ears  and  hear  not,  and  wilfully 
casi  it  out  of  your  thoughtj  whal^  good  can  any.  thing 
do  to  you  that  is  spokpn  ?    It  is  not  holding  your 
meat  in  your  mouth  that  will  nourish  you,  if  you  will 
not  let  it  down ;  nor  taking  it  into  your  stomach,  if 
you  wjll  not  keep  it,  but  presently  cast  it  up  again ; 
but  it  must  be  kept  is  digested  and  distributed. 
So  it  is  not  the  most  excellent  truths  in  the  world  that 
will  change  yoDr  hearts;  if  you  let  them  not  down. to 
your  hearts,  and  keep  them  not  there  by  meditation 
till  they  are  digested  and  turned  into  spiritual  life.! 
The  plaister  must  be  laid  upon  the  sore,  if  you  would 
be  cured.     The  wound  and  jsiekness  is  at  your  heart? 
and  if  you  will'  not  take  in  the  word  to  your,  heart, 
>yhere  the  sickness  is,  I  kna^y  npt  hohyv  \q^  shpuj^. 

DIRECtlONS   TO   THE    UNCONVERTED.         165 

expect  a  cure.  The  soul  will  not  be  charmed  into 
holiness,  by  the  bear  bearing  or  saying  over  a  few  good 
words,  as  wizards  used  to  cure  diseases,  or  seemed  to 
cure  them.  It  must  be  truth  at  the  heart  that  must 
change  the  beart.^-And  ifyouwill  not4:hink  on,  and 
think  on  it  again,  how  can  you  expect  it  should  ever 
come  to  your  heart  ? 

You  say  yoii  would  gladly  have  Christ  and  grace, 
and  are  ready  to  lay  the  blame  on  God,  because  he 
doth  not  give  it  you,  and  say,  We  cannot  ■.convert 
ourselves  i  but  would  you  have  the  Spirit  come  in, 
while  you  hold  the  door  against  him?  He  knocks, 
and  desires  you  to  open  and  let  hitii  in,  and  you 
wish  him  to  come  in;  but  you  bolt  the  door,  and 
no  entreaty  will  procure  you  to  open  it.  '  It  is  con- 
sideration of  the  saving  doctrine  of  the  gospel,  that 
openeth  the  heart,  and  giveth  it  entertaihment.  Set 
yourselves  :  therefore ,  on  purpose  to  this  work, '  and 
open  the  doors  of  your  heart,  which  are  now  shut, 
and  let  the  King  of  glory  come  in.  Who  will  believe 
that  you  love  the  light,  when  yon  shut, 
and  draw  the  curtains?  If  yoU  will  set  yourselves  to 
consider  of  the  truth,  the  windows  of  your  soul  will 
be  set  open,  and  then  the  light  will  certainly  come 
in.  Now  you  read  over  whole  pbapters,  and  hear 
sermon  after  serm6n,  and  either  they  never  stir  youi, 
or  at  least  it  is  but  a  little  for  a  fit;  like  a  man  that 
hath  a  little  warmed  him  at  a  fire  in  the  winter,  and, 
when  he  goes  from  it  is  colder  than  before:  but  if 
you  would  but  set  yourselves  to  consider  of  what  you 
hear  or  read,  one  line  of  a  chapter,  or  one  sentence  of 
a  sermon,  would  lay  you  in  tears,  or  make  you  groan, 
or  at  least  do  more  than  now  is  done.  Satan  hath 
garrisoned  the  heart  of  eyery  carnal  man;  and  con- 
sidereition  is  the  prinpipal  means  to  cast  him  out. 

166         DIKECTIONS   TO   THfi   UNCONVERTED. 

If  by  considering  of  the  terrible  threatenings  of  the 
word,  you  would  discharge  the  cannons  of  God 
against  them,' what  a  battery- would  it  make  in  the 
corruptions  of  your  souls  !  Our  God  is  a  consuming 
fire,  and  the  61*6  of  hell  is  threatened  by  his  law  as  the 
wages  of  sin:  by  serious  consideration  you  may  as  it 
were  fetch  fire  from  God  and  from  his  word,  and  set 
to  the  very  gates  of  Satan's  garrison,  and  fire  him  out 
of  many  of  his  holds. 

But  because  this  is^o  needful  a  point,  I  shall  be  so 
large  upon  it,  as,  1.  To  tell  you  some  of  those  things 
that  you  should  consider  of:  2.  To  tell  you  in  what 
manner  you  should  do  it:  and  3.  Togive  ydu  some 
motives  to  put  you  on. 

I.  The  first  thing  that  I  would  have  you  often  to 
think  on,  is,  the  nature  of  that  God  with  whom  you 
liave  to  do.  Consider,  that  if  he  be  the  most  wise,  it 
is  all  tile  reason  in  the  world  that  he  should  rule  you. 
If  he  be  good,  and  -infinitely  good,  there  is  all  the 
reason  in  the  world  that  you  should  Jove  hirn;  and 
there  is  no  show  of  reason,  that  you  should  love  the 
world,  or  sin,  before  him.  If  he  be  friithful  and  true, 
his  threatenings  must  be  feared,  and  his  promises 
pnust  not  be  distrusted:  and  there  is  no  reason  that 
you  should  make  any  question  of  his  word.  If  he  be 
lioly,  then-holiness  must  needs  be  most  excellent,  aiid 
those  that  are  the  holiest  must  needs  be  the  best, 
because  thtey  are  most  like  to  God;  and  then  he 
must  be  an  enemyto  sinj  and  to  all  that  are  unholy, 
because  they  are  contrary  to  his  nature.  Considet 
that  he  is  almighty,  and  there  is  no  resisting  him,  or 
standing  out  against  him :  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye 
can  he  snatch  thy  guilty  soul  from  thy  body,  and  caiSt 
it  where  sin  is  better, known,  A  Wdrd  of  his  mouth 
pan  set  all  the  world  against  thee;  and  sdt  thine  own 

DIRE1CTI0KS   TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.        167 

conscience  against  thee  too.    A  frown  of  his  face  can 

turn  thee  into  belJ,     And  if  he  be  thine  enepy,  it  is 

no  matter  who  is  thy  friend;  for  all  the  world  cannot 

save  thee,  if  he  do  but  condemn   thee.      They  are 

blessed  whom  he  blesseth,  and  they  are.cursed  indeed 

whom  he  curseth.     He  was  from  eternity,  and  thou 

art  but  as  it  were  of  yesterday ;   thy  being  is  from 

hina;  thy  life  is  always  in  his  hands;  thou  canst  nof 

live  an  hour  without  him;  thou  canst  not  fetch-a 

breath  without  him,  nor  think  a  thought,  nor.  speak 

a  word,  nor  stir  a.foot  or  hand,  without  him;  thou 

mayest  better  live  without  breadj,  or  drink,, Or  6re,  or 

air,  or  earth,  or  vrater,  than  without  him.     All  the 

world  is,  before  him,  but  as  the  drop  of  a  bucket,  or 

a  little  sand  or  dust,  that  should  be  laid  in  balance 

with  all  the  earth.    Hadst  thou  but  compassed  about 

this  lower  wotld,  and  seen'  all  tlie  nations-  of  it,  and 

its  wonderful  furniture,  and  seen  the  great  depths  of 

the  mighty  ocean,  and  the  abundance  of  creatures 

that  be  in  all;  O  what  thoughts  then  wouldst  thou 

have  of  God!  But  if  thou  hadst  been  above  the  stars, 

and  seen  the  siin  inall  its  glory,  and  seen  the  frame 

and  course  of  those  higher  orbs,  and  seen  the  blessed 

glorious  angels,  and  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  higher 

world,  O  then  what  thoughts,  of  God  wouldst  th'oii 

entertain  !  O  but  if  it  were  possible  that  thou  hadst 

seen  his  glory,  or  seen  but  his  back's  parts,  as  Moses 

did,  or  seen  him  in  Christ,  the  now-glorified  Redeemer, 

what  apprehensions  wouldst  thou  have  of  him  then! 

Then  how  wouldst  thou  abhor  the  name  of  sin;  and 

how  weary  wo ul(ist  thou  be  of  the  pleasantest  life 

that  sensuality  could  afford  thee  !  Then  thou  wouldst! 

quickly  know,  that  no  love  can  be  great  enough,  sind 

no  praise  can  be  high  enough,  and  no  sej-vice  can 

be  holy  and  good  enough,  for  such  a  God ;  then 


you  would  soon  know,  that  this  is  notaGodtobe 
neglected,  or  'dallied  with  ;  nor  a  God  to  be  resisted, . 
nor  provoked  by  the  wilful  breaking  of  his  laws. 
It  is  eternal  life  to  know  this  God;  and  for  want  of 
knowing  him,  it  is  that  sin  aboundeth  in  the  world. 
Thismaketh  holiness  so  scarce  and  lean :  Men  worship 
they  care  not  how,  because  they  worship  they  know 
not  "whom.  O  therefore  dwell  on  the  meditations  of 
the  Almighty.  So  far  as  he  dot-h  possess  thy  mind, 
there  will  be  no  place  for  sin  and  vanity. — One  would 
think,  if  I  should  set  you  no  farther  task,- and  tetl 
you  of  no  other  matter  for  your  meditation^  this  one 
should  be  enough ;  for  this  one  is  in  a  manner  all. 
What  will  not  the  due  knowledge  of  God,  do  upon 
the  soul  ?  That  is  the  best  Christian,  and  the  most 
happy  man,  that  kuoweth  most  of  him;  and  that  is 
the  most  vile  and  miserable  wretch  that  is  furthest 
from  him,  and  strangest  to  him :-  it  is  the  character  of 
the  fool  of  fools  to  have  a  heart  whose  disposition 
and  practice  saith,  there^is  no  God;*  that  is,  to  b6  so 
affected  and  employed  in  their  hearts,  as  if  there  were 
ho  God  ;  and  when  God  is  not  in  all  their  thoughts. 
It  was  better  with  man,  when  he  had  less  knowledge 
of  himself,  and  fewier  thoughts  for  himself,  and  more  of 
God.  And  there  is  no  way  to  restorie  us  to  sound 
understanding,  and  to  perfect  our  knowledge,  but  ta 
turn  our  eye  upon  God  again  ;  for  in  knowing  him, 
we  know  all  that  is  worth  the  knowing.  Take  hold 
then  of  the  blessed  God  in  thy  meditations,  and  fill 
thy  thoughts  with  him,  and  dwell  upon  those  thoughts. 
Remember  he  is  always  with  thee:  and  wherever 
thou  art,  or  whatever  thou  art  doing,  most  certainly 
he  seeth  thee.— -As  sure  as  thou  art  there,  the  Lord  is 
there.  He  knows  thy  thoughts;  he  hears  thy  words, 
*  Psalm^xiv'.  1. 


he  isees  all  thy  ways.  And  is  such  a  God  as  this  is, 
to  be  provoked  and  despisiid  ?  Were  it  not  better  to 
provoke  and  despise  all  the  world  ?  Is  bis  favour  to  be 
slighted  ?  Were  it  not  better  to  lose  the  favour  of  all 

the  world  ?   Consider  of  this. 

3.  Another  thing  that  I  would  have  you  often 
think  of,  is,  what  end  you  were  made  for,  and  v^hat 
business  it  is  that  you  came  for  into  the  world.  You 
m&y  well  think  that  God  made  you  not  in  vain  ;  and 
that  he  made  you  for  no  lower  end  than  for  himself: 
and  that  he  woflld  never  have  made,  nor  so  long 
preserved  youi  if  be  bad  not  cared  what  you  do.  He 
would  never  have  endued  yoil  with  a  reasonable 
and  immortal  soul,  but  for  some  high,  and  noble,  and 
immortal  end.  Surely  it  was,  that  you  might  be 
happy  in  knowing  him,  that  he  made  you  capable  of 
knowing  him ;  for  he  made  nothing  in  vain.  It  is 
useful  to  a  horse  to  know  his  pasture,  and  provender, 
and  work,  and  perhaps  his  master ;  but  he  needs  not 
know  whether  there  be  a  God:  and  accordingly  he  is 
qualified.  But  it  is  certainly  man's  chief  concernment 
to  knovv  that  there  is  a  God,  and  what  he  is,  and  how 
to  serve  him,  and  what  he  is  and  will-  be  to  us;  or 
else  we  should  never  haVe  been  capable  of  such 
things:  and  he  Would  never  have  made  you  capable 
G|f  loving  him,  but  that  you  should  be  exercised  and 
made  happy  in  that  love.  The  frame,  and  faculties, 
and  capacity,  of  your  souls,  and  the  scope  of  scripture, 
do  all  declare,  that  you  were  sent  into  this  world  to 
seek  after  God,  and  to  love  him,-  and  obey  him,  and 
Rejoice  in  him,  in  your  measure;  and  to  prepare  for  a 
life  of  nearer  communion,  where  you  may  enjoy  him, 
and  please  him  in  the  highest  perfection.  Consider 
with  yourselves,  whether  a  life  of  sin  be  that  which 
you    were    made   for;    or  whether    God  sent  you 



hither  to  break  his  laws,  and  follow  your  own  lusts; 
and  whether  the  satisfying  of  your;  flesh,  and  the 
gathering  of  a  little  worldly  wealth,  and  the  feathering 
of  a  nest  which'  you  must  so  quickly  leave,  be  likely 
to  be  the  business  that  you  were  sent  about  into  the 

3.  The  next  thing  that  I  would  Wve'you  consider 
of,  is  how  you  have  answered  the  ends  of  your  creation, 
and  how  you  have  done  the  business  that  you  came 
into  the  world  to  do.  Look  back  upon  the  drift  of 
your  hearts,  and  lives;  read  over  the  most  ancient 
records  of  your  consciences ;  and  see  what  you  have 
been,  and  what  you  have  been'  doing  in  the  world  till 
now.-*-Have  you  spent  your  d^ys  in  seeking  after 
God  ?  and  your  estates  and  strength  in  faithfully 
serving  him?  Have  you  lived  all  this  time  in  the 
admiration  of  his  excellencies,  and  the  fervent  love 
of  him,  and  delightful  remembrance  of  him,  and  the 
zealous  worship  of  him  ?  If  you  had  done  this,  you 
had  not  need  of  a  conversion.  But  consider;  have 
you  not  forgotten  what  business  you  had >  in  the 
world,  and  little  minded  the  world  that  you  should 
have  prepared  for,  and  lived  as  if  you  knew  not  him 
that  made  you,  or.  vvhy  he  made  you  ?  Was  sport 
and  merriment  the  end  that  you  were  created  for? 
Was  ease  and  idleness,  or  eating  or  drinking,  or  vain 
discourses,  or  recreation,  the  business  that  you  came 
into  the  world  about?  Was  living  to  the  flesh,  and 
scraping  upriches,  or  gaping  after  the  esteem  of  men, 
the  work  that  God  sent  you  hither  to  do?  Was  this 
it  that  he  preserved  you  for,  and  daily  gave  you  in 
provision  for?  What,  was  it  to  forget  him,  and  slight 
hirh>and  turn  him  out  ofyour  hearts,  and  rob  him  of  his 
service  and  honour;  and  set  up  your  flesh  ia  his  stead, 
and  give  that  to  it  that  was  due  to  him?    Bethink  you 

DIRECTIONS   TO    THE   UNC0NVE;RTED.         171 

what  you  have  done,  and  whether  you  have  done  thfe 
work  that  you  were  sent  to  do,  or  not. 

4.  The  next  thing  you  should  use  to  consider  of, 
is,  how  grievously  you  have  sinned,  and  what  a  case 
it  is  that  your  sin  hath  brought  you  into.  If  you  take 
but  an  impartial  view  of  your  lives,  you  may  see  how 
far  you  have  missed  your  marks,  and  how  far,  you 
have  been  from  what  you  should  have  been,  and  how 
little  you  have  done  of  that  which  was  your  business; 
and  O  what  abundance  of  aggravations  have  your  sins ! 
(which  I  shall  pais  over  now,  because.I  must  mention 
thera  under  another  head.).  It  is  not  only  some  actual 
out-brteakings  against  the  bent  of  your  heart  and  life; 
but  your  very  heart  was  false,  and  gone  from  God, 
and  set  in  you  to  do  evil. 

O  the  time  that  you  have  lost;  the  means  and 
help  that  you  have  neglected;  the  motions  that  you 
have  resisted ;  and  swarms  of  evil  thoughts  that  have 
filled  your  imaginations;  the  streams  of  vain  and  evil 
words  that  have  flowed  from  your  mouth;  the  works 
of  darkness,  in  public  and  in  secret,  that  God  hath 
seen  you  in  !  And  all  this  while,  how  empty  were 
you  in  inward  holiness,  and  how  barren  of  good 
works,  to  God  or  men  !  What  have  you  done  with 
all  your  talents !  and  how  little  or  nothing  hath  God 
had  of  all! 

And  now  consider  what  a  case  you  are  in,  while 
you  remain  unconverted:  you  have  made  yourselves 
the  sinks  of  sin,  the  slaves  of  Satan,  and  the  flesh  ; 
and  are  skilful  in  nothing  but  doing  evil.  If  you  be 
called  to  prayer  or  holy  meditation,  your  hearts  are 
against  it,  and  yoii  are  not  used  to  it,  and  therefore 
you  know  not  how  to  do  it  to  any  purpose :  but  to 
think  the  thoughts  of  lust  or  covetousness,  or  hatred 
or  malice,  or  revenge,  this  you  can  do  without  any 

172        DIRECXIONS    TO   THB   UNCONVEHTED.     ' 

toil;  to  speak  of  the  wOrld»  or  of  your  sports  and 
pleasures,  or  against  those  that  you  bear  ill-will' to, 
this  you  can  do  without  any  study:  yau  are  such  as 
are  spoken  of,  My  -people  is  foolish,  they'  have  not 
hnrnjon  me ;  they  are  sottish  childrien,  and  they  have 
no  ttnderstanding :  they  are  wise  to  do  evil^  hut  to  do 
good  they  have  no  knowledge,^  You  are  grown  stran^ 
gers  to  the  Gbd'that  tnade  you,  in  whoSie  love  and 
service  yousshould  live  and  find  your  chief  delights. 
Your  hearts  are  hardened,  and  you  are  dead  in  your 
sins;  the  guilt  of  the  sins  of  your  lives  is  stiil  upon 
you  ;  you  can  neither  look  into  your  hearts  or  lives, 
no  not  one  day  of  your  lives,  or  the  best  hour  that 
you  have  spent,  but  yoiiimust  s6e  the  ugly  face  of 
sin,  which  deserveth  condemnation.  You  have  made 
God  your  enemy,  that  should  have  been  your  only 
felicity ;  and  yet  you  are  always  at  his  mercy,;  and  in 
his  hands.  Little  do  you  know  how  long  bis  pati- 
ence will  yet  endure  you  ;  or  what  hour  he  will  call 
away  your  souls:  and  if.  death  come,  alas,  what  a 
case  will  it  find  you  in  !  How  lamentably  unready 
are  you  to  meet  him !  How  unready  to  appear  before 
the  dreadful  God  whom  you  have  offended ;  and 
what  a 'terrible  appearance  doyou  think  that  will  be 
to  you  !  Most  cqrtajnly  if  you  die  before  you  are  con- 
vertedi  the  inevitable  consequence  will  be,  everlasting 
misery  and  despair.  The  law  hath  cursed  you  already ; 
and  the  execution  will  be  answerable,  if  you  die  in 
your  sins :  and  thus  you  may  see  the  gain  of  sin,  and 
what  it  is  that  you  have  been  doing  all  this-  while  for 
your  own  souls;  and  what  a  case  it  is  that  you  have 
brought  yourselves;  into;  and  what  need  you  have 
speedily  to  Ipok  about  you. 

S.  The  next  step  of  your  consideration  should  be 

*  Jer.  iv,  22, 

DIRECTIONS    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED;         173 

this :  bethink  yourselves  what  a  blessed  condition 
you  might  be  in,  if  by  conversion  you  were  recovered 
from  this  nnisery,  and  brought  honae  to  God.  This 
moved  .the  heart  of  the  prodigal  son  to  return.  When 
he  canae  to  himself  he  said,  How  many  hired  ser- 
vants of  my  father's  have  bread  enough,  and  to  spare, 
and  I  perish  with  hunger.  He  that  had  not  husks  to 
feed  on  wil:h  the  swine,  considered  the  plenty  that  he 
had'  forsaken  at  home.  The  poorest  membet*  of  the 
household  of  Christ  is  in  a  better  condition  than  the 
greatest  king  oa  e^th  that  is  unconverted.  You  might 
have  lived  attoiher^kind'  of  life  than  you  have  done, 
for  siafety,  and  benefit,  and  true  content,  if  you  would 
have  turned  your  minds  and  life  to  God,  Were  you 
but  converted,  you  would  be  living  members  of  Cbrisr, 
and  his  pfecious  benefits  would  be  yours ;  his  blood 
would  cleatHse  you  from  all  your  sins,^nd  they  would 
be  all  freely  forgiven  you  :  God  would  be  reconciled 
to  you,  and  become  your  friend,  yea,  your  Father  and 
your  God ;  and  will  take  you  for  his  adopted  chiU 
cfedB':  the  Holy  Ghost  would  dwell  iti  you,  and  guide 
your  understiandings,  and  show  you  that  which  flesh 
and  blood  cahnot  reveal,  and  bring  you  into  ac- 
quaintance with  the  mysteries  of  God.  He  will  be 
a  Spirit  of  life  and  light  within  you,  and  work  your 
hearts  yet  more  to  God,  and  give  you  yet  stronger 
inclinations  and  affections  to  the  things  above.  He 
will  help  you  when  you  are  weak,  and  quicken  you 
when  you  are  dull,  and  be  your  remembrancer  when 
you  are  forgetful  of  necessary  things.  '  He  will'  help 
you  in  ppayer,  both  for  matter  ahd  for  manner,  and 
help, you  in  meditation^  and  conference,  and  other 
duties:  he  will  warn  you  of  your- danger,  an^ 
strengthen  you  against  temptations,  and  hdp  you  to 
overcome;  and  if  you  fall,  be  \till  eoabte  you  to  rise 


again.  He  will  be  an  indwelling  comforter  to  you, 
and  so  effectually  speak  peace  to  you  in  the  midst  of 
your  disquietness,  that  by  speaking  it,  he  will  create 
it  in  you;  and  in  the  multitude  of  your  thoughts 
within  you,  his  comforts  will  delight,  your  souls.  O 
what  a  life  mig^ht  you  live,  if  Christ  by  his  Spiritjjid 
once  live  in  you  !.  You  may  easily  conjecture  how 
tender  Christ  would  be  pf'his  own  members,  how 
dearly  he  would  love  them,  how  Constantly  he  would 
watch  over  them,  how  plentifully  he  would  provide 
for,  them,  and  how  safely  he  would  preserve  them  ! 
And  if  you  should  come  into  a  rougher  way,  he 
would  lead  you  out.  '  Afflictions  should  never  be 
laid  on  you  but  for  your  good;  and  continue  no 
longer  than  your  need  continueth  them,  and  betaken 
off  at  last  to  your  satisfaction  and  contentment.  In- 
deed'your  life  would  be  a  life  of  mercies:  and  that 
which. is  but  a  common  mercy  to  common  men, 
would  he  a  special  mercy  to  you,  as  coming  from 
your  Father's  love,  and  furthering'  your  salvation, 
and  hinting,  out  to  you  your  everlasting  mercies. 
You  could  not  open  your  eyes,  but  you  would  see 
that  which  may  encourage  and  comfort  you  ;  all  the 
works  of  sGod  which;  you  behold,  would  show  you 
his,  majesty,  his  love,  and  power,  arid  lead  you  to 
himself.  You  could  not  open  your  Bible,  but  you 
would  find  in  it  the  blessed  lines  of  love :  O  what 
gpqd  it  would  do  you  to  read  there  the  blessed  attri* 
butes  of  your  God!  tO;look  upon  his  name!  to  peruse 
the  description  of  his  most.jperfect  nature !  What 
good  would  it  do  you  to  read  of  th&  nature,  and 
incarnation,  and  life,  anddeath,  and  resurrection,  a;nd 
ascension,  and  intercession,  and  return  of  your  blessed 
Redeemer  !  What  good  would  it  do  you  to  find  those 
holy  rules  which  your  new  nature  isiagreeableto,  and 

DIRECTIONS   to    THE   UNCONVERTED.         175 

to  read  over  the  law  that  is  written  in  your  hearts,  and 
read  the  curse  from  which  you  are  delivered!    What 
life  and  joy  would  your  souls  receive  from  the  many, 
and  full,  and  free  promises  of  grace !  once 
but  truly  sanctified  and«  made  new,  your  condition 
would  be  often  comfortable,   but  alw;ays  safe;  and 
wheij  you  were  in  the  greatest  fears  and  perplexities, 
you  would  still  be  fast  in  the  arms  of  Christ !    And 
what  a  life  would  that  be,  to  have  daily  access  to  God 
in   prayer;   to   have  leave,  in  all  your   wants  and 
dangers,  to.  seek  him  with  a  promise,  of  hearing  and 
success!  that  you  may  be  sure  of  much  more  from 
him,  thaq  a  child  can  from  the  tenderest  father,  or  a 
wifefroin  the  most  loving  husband  upon  earth !  What 
a  life  would  it  be,  when  you  may  always  think  on 
God  as  your  felicity,  and  fetch  your  highest  delights 
from  whom  the  ungodly  have  their  greatest  terrors  \ 
And  it  is  no  contemptible  part  of  your  benefits,  that 
you  may  live  among  his  people,  and  in  their  special 
love,  and  have  a  special  communion  with  them,  and 
interest  in  thejr  prayers,  and  may  possess  among  them 
the  privileges  of  the  saints,  and  the  ordinances  of 
God  :  that  instead  of  idle  talk,*  and  the  unprofitable 
fellowship  of  the  children  and  works  of  darknessj  you 
may  join  with  the  church  of  God  in  his  praises,  and 
feed  with  them  at  his  table  on  the  body  and  blood  of 
Christ,  and  then  have  conyeyances  of  renewed  grace, 
and  a  renewed  pardon  sealed  to  your  souls.   But  how 
long  should  I  stay,  if  I  should  tell  you  but  one-half 
the  blessings  of  a  sanctified  and  spiritual  state  !    In  a 
word,  God  would  be  yours,  Christ  would  be  yours, 
the  Holy  Ghost  would  be  yours,  all  things  would  be 
yours  ;  the  whole  world  would  have  some  relation  to 
your  welfare ;  devils  would  be  subdued  to  you,  and 
cast  out  of  your  souls ;  sin  would  be  both  pardoned 


and  overcome ;  angels  would  be  ministering  spirits 
unto  you.  for  your  good;  the  promises  of  scripture 
would  he  yours  ;  and  everlasting, glory  would  at  last 
be  yours:  and  while  .you  staid  on  earth,  you  might 
comfort  yourselves  as  often  as  you  would,  with  the 
believing  foresight  of  that  incopcejyiable,  unspeakable, 
endless  felicity. 

O  sirs,  what  a  treasure  have.  I  here  expressed  in 
a  few  words  !  What  hearts  would  you  have,  if  you 
were  but  possessed,  lively  and  sensil^y,  of  all  that  is 
contained  in  this  leaf  or  two!  You  would  not  envy 
the  greatest  prince  on  earth  his  gloryj  nor  change 
states  with  any  man  that  was  a  stranger  to  these 
things.— Did  you  but  use  to  consider  of  the  state  of 
the  saints,  how  could  you  keep  off,  and  stay  with 
sin,  and  make  so  many  delays  in  turning  unto  Gocf ! 
—Surely  this  consideration  mi^ht  turn  the  scales. 

The  next  part  of  your  meditation  should  be  of  the 
gracious  and  wonderful  work  of  your  redemption; 
and  the  means  and  remedies  which  are  provided  for 
your  souls,  and  the  terms  on  which  salvation  may  be 

For  all  the  sijfs' which  you  have  committed,  you 
are  not  giveti  over  to  despair;  the  Lord  hath  not 
left  you  without  a  remedy.  Your  conversion  and 
salvation  is  not  a  thing  impossible.  Nay,  so  much 
is  done  by  Christ  already,  that  it  is  brought  u,pon 
reasonable  terms,  even  to  your  hands.  jA  new  and 
living  way  is -consecrated  for  us  by  Christ,  ikrougJi, 
the  vail  of'  his  Jlesh,  and  by  his  blood  we  may  have 
boldness  to  enter  into  the  holiest.*  He  hath  borne 
your  burden,  and  (^'ereth  you,  instead  of  it,  his 
burden,  which  is  light. ■\  He  hath  removed  the 
impossibility,  and  nailed  to  his  cross  the  hand-ioriting 
*  Heb.  X.  19,  20.  ;;    f  Matt.  xi.  30. 


that  was  agedmi^ou;*  and,  instead,  of  it,  offereth 
you  his  easy  yoke.  He  hath  spoiled  the  principalities 
and  powers  that  had  captivated  you,,  and  openly 
triumphed  over  them  on  the  cross.  You  are  not  left 
under  the  care  of  making  satisfaction  to  God  for  your 
own  sins,  but  only  of  accepting  the  Redeemer,  that 
hath  satisfied.  It  will  be  for  want  of  faith  in  you, 
and  not  for  want  of  satisfaction  by  the  Redeemer,  if 
any  of  you  perish.  And  how  free  are  his  offers!  how 
full  are  his  promises!  You  are  conditioDally  all 
pardoned  and  ju»titied  already,  as  is  legible,,  under  the 
hand  of  God.  And  the  condition  which  is  imposed 
upon  you,  is  not  some  meritorious  or  mercenary 
work,  but  the  accepting  of  the  benefit  freely  given, 
according  to  its  nature,  .use,  and  end.  This  is  the 
faith  by  which  you  must  be  justified.  These  are 
the  terms  on  which  you  ftvay  be. saved.;  And  which 
is  more,  the  Lord  hath  provided  means,  even  excel- 
lent, and.  plentiful,  and  powerful  means,  for '  the 
furthering  of  your  souls  in  the  performance  of  this 
condition,  and  helping,  you  to  believe  and  teperit, 
that  you  may  live ;  and  if  the  Spirit  make  not  these 
means  effectual,  and  adjoin  not  his  special  grace,  and 
after  this  you  remain  unconverted,  it  will  not  be  long 
of  him,  but  of  yourselves.  So  that  you  may  perceive 
how  hopeful  a  case  you  are  yet  in,  by  the  blood  of 
your  Redeemer,  if  you  destroy  not  your  own  hopes, 
and  make  not  your  case  desperate  by  wilful  impeni^ 
tency,  and  refusal  of  free  grace.  How  fair  are  you  yet 
fbr  heaven  !  and  wbat  happy  advantages  have  you  for 
salvatipn !  It  is  brought  even  to  your  doors ;  it  is 
thrust  as  it  were  into  your  hands ;  the  Redeemer 
hath  done  so  much  for  you  all,  as  to  bring  your 
salvalion  to  the  choice  of  your  own  wills.  You  have 
*  CoLii.  14,  IS. ■• 
A  A 


precepts  to  believe ;  you  are  threatened  if  you  will 
not  believe;  yob  have  promise  upon  promise;  and 
Christ  himselfoffi^rsyou  pardon,  and  life,  and  salvation 
with  him,  if  y©u  are  but  truly  and  heartily  willing. 
You  havjB  God  himself  condescending  to  beseech  you 
to  accept  them ;  and  ambassadors  entreating  you  in 
his  name  and  stead.  You  have  ordinances  fitted  to 
your  necessities,  both  reading  and  preaching,  and 
sacraments  and  prayer.  You  have  store  of  plain 
and  .powerful  books:  you  have  the  godly  about  you, 
m6st  desirous  to  assist  you,  that  would  be  glad  to 
see  or  hear  of  your  conversion:  you  have  tlie  sight 
of  the  wicked  that  are  wallowing  in  their  own  dung, 
and  the  dirt  of  the  world,  to  make  you  hate  such 
beastly  ways.  You  have  reason  and  conscience 
within  you,  to  consider  of  these  matters,  and  set 
them  home  and  apply  them  to  yourselves ;  you  have 
time  and  strength  to  do  all  this,  if  you  will  not  abuse 
it,  and  provoke  Qod  to  take  it  from  you  for  your 
negligence.  You  have  mercies  of  many  sorts^  outward 
and  inward,  to  win  upon  you  and  encourage  you  in 
the  work ;  and  sometimes  afflictions  to  remember 
you,  and  awaken  you,  and  spur  you  on.  The  devil 
and, all  your  enemies  are  so  far  disabled,  they  cannot 
destroy  you  agajnst  your  wills,  nor  keep  yOu  from 
Christ,  but  by  your  own  consents.  The  angels  of 
heaven  are  ready  to  help  you,  and  would  even  rejoice 
a,t  your  conversion.  This  is  your  case,  and  these  are 
your  helps  and  encouragements ;  you'  are  not  shut 
up  under  desperation.  God, never  told  you  it  is  in 
vain  to  think  of  conversion ;  it  is  too  late.  If  any 
have  told  you  so,  it  was  the  devil,  and  not  God:  and 
one  would  think  that  such  considerations'  as  these 
should  drive  the  nail,  to  the  head,  and  be  e^ectual  to 
move  you  to  resolve  and  turn. 


7.  The  last  thing  that  I  would  set  before  you  to 
be  considered,  is,  what  is  likely  to  be  the  end  of  it,  if 
after  all  this  you  should  die  unconverted. 

O  sirs,  your  hearts  are  liot  able  now  to  conceive  of 
it,  nor  the  tongue  of  any  mortal  man  to  utter  it.  But 
so  much  of  it  we  can  certainly  utter^  as  one  would 
think  should  make  your  hearts  to  tremble.  You 
have  seen,  it  may  be,  a  dying  man,  in  what  pangs  and, 
■agonies  he  partethwith  his  soul :  and  you  have  seen, 
it  is  like,  the  corpse  that  was  left  there  behind  ;  and 
seen  it  laid  in  th#  common  earth.  But  you  see  not 
what  became  of  the  soul,  nor  what  an  appearance  it 
made  in  another  world,  nor  what  company  did  attend 
it,  nor  what  a  place  or  state  it  passed  into.  O  sirs, 
when  the  hour  is  at  hand,  that  this  must  be  your  own 
case,  it  will  awaken  you  to  other  kind  of  affections 
than  you  have,  or  can  have  at  the  reading  of  these 
words.  It  is  wonderful,  th^t  a  little  distance  should 
make  us  so  insensible  of  that  change  which  we  are 
all  certain  will  come  to  pass ;  and  yet,  through  the 
folly  and  deafness  of  our  hearts^  it  is  so:  biit  they  are 
other  kind  of  thoughts  of  these  weighty  matters, 
which  we  shall  have  the  next  hour  after  death,  than 
the  liveliest  affections  beforehand  can  afford  ,us. 

The  misery  was  great  that  the  Redeemer  did 
find  you  in,  and  which  you  deserved  by  your  sin 
against  the  law  of  the  Creator.  But  if  you  be  found 
unconverted  at  last,  your  punishment  will  be  much 
sorerj  and  your-  case  far  worse  than  it  was  before. 
The  Redeemer's  law  or  gospel  hath  its  peculiar 
threatening,  which  differeth  from  the  law  of  the  mere 
Creator  in  several  respects :  Even,  1.  in  the  nature  of 
the  punishment,  which  will  be  torments  of  conscience 
for  the  neglect  of  a  Redeemer  and  recovering  grace, 
which  you  should  never   have  felt,  if  you  never 

180         DIRECTIONS   TO    THE    IINCO^ViERTED. 

hadbefeh  redeemed.  ,3.  And  iq^.^he;  degree  of;the 
pujiisbihent,  which  willjhe  far,  sor,er.  And,  3.,  in  the 
remedilessneiss  of  it,  the  sentence  Ijeihg  irreversible 
and  peremptory:  the  first  law  indeed  provided  no 
rertiedy,:but  it  did  not.exdlad© remedy,  nor  make  it, 
itnpos'sible ;  but  the  kw  of  Chjrist,  doth  positively 
and  expressly  exclude  all  remedy,  and  leaveth  the 
soul,  that  goethf  unconverted,  oiit  of  the  body,  to  utter 
desperation  and  misery;  without  help  or  hope  of  end. 
:IL  Having-  told  you  what  shojild  be  the  matter  of 
your  consideration,  I  shall  next  tell  you  (but  briefly) 
in  what  manner  you  shall  perform  it.  And  hjeije  I 
shall  not  stand  to  prescribe  to  you  any  long  or  exact 
method  for  meditation,  both  because  it  agreeth  not 
with  my  present  resolved  brevityj  and  because  the 
persons, , that  I  now  deal  with,  are  not  capable  of 
observing  such  rules ;  and  if  any  desite  such  helps, 
they  may  transfer  the  directions  which  are  given  on 
another  subject  in  my  book  of  Rest,  to  the,:  subject 
now' in  hand.       :  . 

1.  Do  not  stay  till  such  thoughts  will  come  of 
themselves  into  your  minds,  but  set  yourselves  pur- 
posely to  consider  of  these  matters.  ;Xake  some  thne 
to  call  your  souls  to  an  account  concerning  their 
present  state,  and  their  preparsitipns  for  eternity.  If 
a  heathen  Seneca  could  call  himself  every  night  to  an 
account  for  the  evil  committed  and  the  good  omitted 
in  the  day  past,  as  he  professed  that  he  ordinarily 
did ;  why  may,  apt  even  an  unconverted  man,  that 
liath  the  helps  that  are  now  among  us,  bethink  himself 
of  the  state  of  liis  soul?  But  I  know  that  a  c^nal 
heart  is  exceeding  backward  to  serious  consideration,  • 
and  is  loath  to  be  troubled  with  such  thoughts;  as 
these;  and  the  devil  will  do  what  he  can  to  hinder 
it,  by  himself  and  others;  but  yet  if  men  would  do 


what  they  may  do,  it  might  be  better  witU  them  than 
it  is.  VFill  you  hut  now  ajid  then  purposely  withdraw 
yourselves  frqrai  company  into  somesecret  place,  and 
there  set;  the  Lord  before  your  eyes,  and  call  your 
soul?  to  a  strict  account  ahoqt  .the  matters  that  I  have 
mentioned  even  now,  and  make  it  your  business  to 
exereise;your  reason  upon  them;  and  as  you  purposely 
go  to  church  to  hear,  so  purposely  set  yourselves  to 
this  duty  of  consideration,  as  a  necessary  thing? 

3,  When  you  are  upon  it,  labour  to  waken  your 
souls,  and  tQ  beJpery  serious"  in  alj  your  tlrougb^ts; 
and  do  not  think  of  the  matters,  of  salvation  as  you 
would  of  an  ordinary  trivial  business,  which  you  do 
not  oiuch  regard  or  care  how  it  goes.  But  remember 
that  your  life  lietb  on, it,  even  your  evexlasting,  life ; 
and  therefore  call  up  the  most  earnest  of  your  thoughts, 
and  rouse  up  all  the  powers  of  your  souls,  and  suffer 
them>  not  to  draw  back,  but  command  them  to  the 
work:  and  then  set  the  seven  points  that  I  mentioned 
even  now  before  you ;  and  as  you  think  of  them, 
labour  to  be  affected  with  them,  in  some  measure 
according  to  their  exceeding  weight ;  as  Moses  said 
to  Israel,  Set  your  .hearts  to  fill  the  words  which  I 
testify  among  you  this  day ;  which  he  shall  command 
your  children  to  do,  S^c.  For  it  is  not  a  vain  thing 
for  you,  Because  it  is  your  life.*  And  as  Christ  said. 
Let  these  sayings  sink  into  your  ears.  f.  So  I  say  to 
you,  letvthe  matters  which  ybu  think  of  go  to  your 
hearts,  and  sink  down  to  the  quick  of  your  affectionSf 

And  if  your  hearts  would  slip  awayvfrom  the  work, 
and  other  thoughts  would  creep  into  your  mind,  and 
you  are  weary  of  these  considerations  before  they 
have  done  their  work,  see  that  you  give  not  way  to 
this  laziness,  or  unwillingness ;  but  remember  it  is 

*  Deut,  xxii.  46.  f  Lukeix.  44,.. 

182         DIRECTIONS   to   THE   UNCONVERTED. 

a  work  that  m^st  be  done,  and  therefore  hold  your 
thoughts  upon  it,  till  your  hearts  are  stirred  and 
warned  within  you.  And  if  after  all,  you  cannot 
awake  them  to  seriousness  and  sensibility,  put  two 
brVthree  such  awakening  questions  as  these  ifo  your- 
selves, '  ? 

1.  Quest.  What  if  it  were  but  the  case  of  my  bodyi 
>6r  state  or  name,  should  I  not  earnestly  consider  of  it. 
If  one  do  but  wrong  me,  how  easily  I  can  think  of 
itj  and  how  tenderly  do  1  feel  it ;  and  can  scarcely 
forget  it  ?  If  my  good  name  be  blemished,  and  I  be 
but  disgraced,  I  can  think  of  it  night  aiid  day :  If  I 
lose  but  a  beast,  or  have  any.  cross  in  tbe  world,  or 
decay  in  my  estate,  I  can.think  of  it  with  sensibility: 
if  1  lose  a  child  or  a  friend,  I  can  feel  it  as  well  as 
think  pf  it.  If  my  health  be  decayed,  and  my  life  in 
danger,  I  am  in  good,  earnest  in  thinking  of  this. 
And  should  I  not  be  as  serious  in  the  matters  ojf 
everlasting  life  ?  Should  I  not  think  Of  it,  and  soberly 
and  earnestly  think  of  it,  when  body  and  soul  do  lie 
at  the  stake,  and  when  it  concerneth  my  everlasting 
joy  or  torment  ? 

2.  Quest.  What  if  I  had  but  heard  the  Son  of  God 
himself  calling  on  me  to  repent,  and  be  converted,  and 
seconding  his  commands  with  that  earnest  expression. 
He  that:  hath  an  ear  to  hear  let  him  hear;  would  it 
not  have  brought  me  to  some  serious  thoughts  of 
my  state  5  Why,  this  he  hath  done  in  his,  word,'  and 
doth  it  by  his  ambassadors ;  and  why  then  should  I 
not  consider  it  ? 

3.  Quest.  If  I  did  but  know  that  death  were  at  my 
back,  and  ready  "to  arrest  me,  and  that  I  should  be  in 
another  world  before  this  day  seven-nfght,  I  should 
then  begin  to  bethink  me  in  good  sadness:  and  why 
do  I  not  so  now,  when  I  have  no  hold  of  my  life  an 


hour,  end  when  I  am  sure  that  shortly  that  time  will 

4.  Quest.  If  my  eyes  were  but  open  to  see  that 
which  I  pretend  to  believe,  and  which  is  certainly* 
true ;  even  to  see  a  glimpse  of  the  majesty  of  the 
Lord,  to  see  the  saints  in  joy  and  glory;  and  to  see 
the  damned  souls  in  misery,  and  if  I  heard  their 
lamentations;  would  not  even  this  force  my  heart  to 
consideration  ?  O  then  how  earnestly  should  I  think 
of  these  things  !  And  why  should  I  not  do  so  now, 
when  they  are  aa^sure  as  if  I  saw  them,  and  when 
I  ihust  see  them  ere  it  be  long  ? 

Many  more  such  awakening  questions  are  at  hand, 
but  I  give  you  but  these  brief  touches  on  the  things 
that  are  most  common  and  obvious,  that  the  most 
ignorant  may  be  able  to  make  some  use  of  them. 
With  such  thoughts  as  these,  you  must  bring  on 
your  backward  h,eart3,  and  shake  them  out  of  their 
insensibility,  and  awaken  them  to  the  work. 

III.  When  you  have  brought  your  hearts  to  be 
serious,  be  sure  that  you  drive  on  your  considerations 
to  a  resolution.  Break  not  oiF  in  the  middle,  or 
before  you  bring  the  matter  to  an  issue;  but  let  all 
be  done  in  order  to  practice.  When  you  have  bpen 
thinking  of  the  excellencies  of  God  and  the  world  to 
come,  and  comparing  them  with  all  the  delights  on 
earth;  put  the  question  then  to  yi&ur  hearts,  and  say, 
What  sayest  thou,  O  my  soul !  which  of  these  is  the 
better  for  thee?  which  is  the  more  desirable?  and, 
which  of  them  shouldst  thou  prefer  ?  Resolve  then, 
and  make  thy  choice  According  to  the  light  and 
convictions  which  thou  hast  received.  When  you  are 
thinking  .of  the  reasons  that  should  move  you  to  be 
cotiverted,  ask  yourselves.  Whether  these  reasons 
be  not  clear,  and  what  you  have  to  say  against  them? 


And  whether  any  thing  that  can  be  said  to  the 
contrary,  can  prove  it  better  for  you  to  be  as  you 
are,  and  to  remain  unconverted  ?_  Ask  yourselves, 
Is  my  judgment  resolved,  or  is  it  not?  And  if  itiae, 
(as  sure  it  must  be^  if  you  be  not  beside  yourselves,) 
then  write  it  down  under  your_hands,  or  at  least  in 
your  liearts  :  '  I  do  here  confess  before  the  Lord,  l;hat  ■ 
his  commands  are  just,  his  motions  are  reasonable,  his 
offers  are  exceeding  merciful :  I  am  satisfied  that  it 
is  best  for  me  to>  turn  to  him  speedily,  and  with  all 
my  heart:  I  confess  before  him,  that  I  have  no 
reason  to  the  contrary  that  deserves  to  be  owned  and 
called  reason :  this  is  my  own  judgmerit;  of  this  I  am 
convinced.  If  I  turn  not  after  this,  the  light  that 
is  in  me,  and  the  judgrneht  that  I  now  possess,  must 
needs  be  a  witness  against  my  soul.'  If  yoii  would 
but  thus  drive  on  the  case  to  a  {"esolution  ,of  your 
judgments,  you  would  have  a  great  adva»tage  for 
the  resolving  of  your  wills;  which  is  the  next  thing 
that  you  must  proceed  to.'  And  thereforfe  next  ask 
yourselveis.  Why  should  I  not  now  resolve,  and  fixedly 
resolve,  {o  turn  without  any  more  delay  ?  Is  not 
the  case  plain  before  me?  'What-  reason  have  I  to 
statid  questioning  the  matter  any  longer,  and  to  be 
unwilling  to  be  happy  ?  Shall  I  provoke  God  by 
dallying  with  him,  and  hazard  tny  soul  by  lingering 
out  ihy  time,  in  such  a  miserable  state  ?  No :  by  the 
grace  of  God  I  will  return  even  this  hour,  without  any 
more  deldy.  Thus  drive  on^  all  your  consideration  to 

By  this  time  you  nrfay  see  of  what  necessity  this 
duty  of  consideration  is,  and  how  it  must  be  performed, 
that  it  may  further  your  conversion:  but  because  it 
is  a  matter  of  so  great  necessity,  I  an\  loath  to  leave 
it  thus,  till  I  have  done  what  I  can  to  persuade  you 


to  the  practice  of  it.  -To  vi^liieb  end  I  entreaj  you  to 
thin  it  of  the^e  following  motives, 

,1.  Consideration  is  a  duty  that  you  may  perform, 
if  you  will.  You  cannot  say  that  it  is  wholly  out  of 
your  potver;  so  that  y<ou  are  left  inexcusable,  if  you 
wiJJ  not  be  persuaded  to  it,.  You  say,  you  cannot 
convert  yourselves:  but  cannot  you  set  yourselves 
to  consider  of  your  ways,  and  bethink  you  of  those 
truths  that  must  be  the  instruments  of  your  conver- 
sion ?  Your  thoughts  t»re  partly  at  the  command  of 
your  will :  you  'can  turn  them  up  and  down  from 
one  thing  to  another,  "s  Even  an  unsanctified  minister, 
that  hath  no  saving  relish  of  spiritual  things,  can 
thi»k  of  them,  that  he  may  preach  them  to  others; 
and  why  cannot  you  then  turn  your  thoughts  to  them 
for  yourselves  ?  You  can  think  of  house  and  land, 
apd  friends  aild  trading,  and  of  any  thing  that  aileth 
yoM,  or  any  thjugthat  you  wmi,  or  any  thing  that  you 
lovp,  or  think  would  do  you  good:  and  why  cannot 
you  think  of  your  sin  and  danger,  of  God,  and  of  his 
yford  and  works,  of  the  state  of  yonf  souls,  ,a'nd  of 
everlasting  life  ?  Are  you  not  able  to  go  sometimes 
by  yourselves,  and  consider  t»f  these  matters?  Are 
y.9U  not  able»  when  you  are  alone  in  your  beds, 
.  or  as  you  travel  in  the  way,  or  at  yo«r  labour,  to 
bethink  yOM  how  things  stan4  with  your  souls  ?  Why 
are  you  not  able?  What  is  it  that  could  hinder  you, 
if  ypu  were  JbutVP/illing  ? 

2,  Yea,  fujftber,  consideration  is  so  cheap  a  remedy, 
th*t  if  you  wilJ  not  use  this,  you  despise  your  souls; 
yea,  and  you  dle$pise  the  Lord  himsejfj  and  th^  ever- 
lasting things  which  you  are  called  to  consider  of. 
A  man  thatia  in  danger  of  losing  his  estate,  or  jie^th. 
Of  life,  and  will  not  so  much  as  bethink.)  him  of  a 
r«p*edy,  doth  sure  set  light  by  them,  and  ^ose  them  by 

B  B  ' 

186         DIRECTIONS    TO    THE    UNCONTERTED. 

his  contenipt.  A  man  that  had  but  his  ^ouse  on  fire, 
and  woiild  not  so  thuch  as  think  how  to  quench  it, 
doth  deserve  that  it  should  be  burnt.  If  your  parents, 
or  children,  or  friends,  were  in  distress,  if  you  would 
not  so  much  as  think  of  them,  it  were  a  sign  that 
you  did  not  set  much  by  them.  '  Why,  sirs,  are  not 
your  souls  worth  the  thinking  on  ?  Is  not  Godj  is 
not  your  Redeemer,  worth  the  thinking  on  ?  And  yet 
you  will  hypocritically  pretend  that  you  love  God 
above  all,  when  you  will  not  so  much  as  seriously 
think  of  him.  How  can  you  show  greater  contempt 
of  any  thing,  than  to  cast  it  out  of  your  minds  as 
unworthy  to  be  thought  on  ?  And  how  can  you,  more 
plainly  show  that  you  despise  God  and.  heaven,  than 
by  Such  a  course  as  this  ?  If  it  be  not  worth  thinking 
on,  it  is  worth  nothing. 

3.  Consider  that  God  doth  not  set  so  lightly  by 
your  salvation.  He  thought  it  worth  a  great  deal 
more.  Must  Christ  think  it  worth  his  bloody  suffer- 
ings, and  worth  such  a  life  of  labour  and  sorrow;  and 
will  you  not  judge  it  worth  your  serious  consider- 
ation ?  If  he  had  not  thought  on  it,  and  thought  again, 
how  miserable  should  we  have  remained  !  Ministers 
also  must  think  on  it,  and  study  how  tb  save  your 
souls.  And  should  you  not  study  how  to  save 
your  own  ?  Must  another  man  make  it  the  business 
of  his  life  to,  think  how  to  do  you  good,  that  you  may 
be  saved;  and  are  you  not  as  much  bound  to  do 
good  to  yourselves  ?  Yea,  all  that  fear  God  about  you, 
are  bound  to  study  to  do  you  good;  and  should 
you'  not  bethink  you  then  of  the  things  that  concern 
your  own  good  ? 

4.  Moreover,  what  have  you  your  reason  for,  but 
to  consider?  And  wherein  do  you  differ  from  the 
beasts,-  so  much  as  in  your  reason  ?    If  you  have 


reason,  and  will  not  use  it,  you  brlitify  yourselves; 
you  live  like  piadmen :  for  what  is  madness,  but 
a  loss  of  the  use  of.reason  ?  And  do  you  think  it  a 
small  thing  to  deface  so  noble  a  creature  a?  man,  and 
to  turn  yourselves  into  beasts,  and  madmen  ?  Do 
you  think  that  God  will  not  call  you  to  account  for 
your  reason,  how  you  have  used  it?  Doubtless  he 
gave  ityou  for  a  higher  employment,  than  to  enable 
you  to  plough  and  sow,  and  follow  your  trades,  and 
provide  for  your  flesh.  If  this  were  all  that  a  man 
did  exceed  a  beast  in,  what  a  silly  wretched  wight 
were  man  !  Yea,  so  much  more  miserable  than  the 
beasts,  as  his  knowledge  begets  more  care,  and 
sorrow,  and  fear,  than  theirs.  What  matter  is  it  for 
having  reason  at  all,  if  it  .be  not  that  we  may  use  it 
for  the  matters  of  God,,  and  eternal  life  ? 

5.  Moreover,  your  soul  is  an  active  principle, 
which  will  be  working  one  way  or  other;  your 
thoughts  wiir  be  going  on  one  thing  or  other ;  and 
therefore  the  bare  consideration  is  no  great  labour  to 
you.  And  if  you  must  lay  out  yoiir  thoughts  on 
something,  is  it  not  better  to  lay  them  out  on  these 
things  than  on  any  other  ?  Have  you  any  better 
matters  to  think  on  than  these  ?  Have  you  any 
greater  matters,  or  matters  of  greater  necessity,  to 
think  of?  You  cannot  sure  imagine  it ;  at  least  you 
will  not  say  so,  for  shame.  This  makes  your  incon- 
siderateness  an  inexcusable  sin.  If  thinking  were  a 
toil  to  you,  it  were  another  matter.  But  when  you 
must -think  of  something,  why  not  of  God,  and  your 
eternal  state,  and  the  way  to  heaven,  as  well  as  of 
other  matters?  Will  you  rather  throw  away  your 
thoughts  than  God  shall  have  them  ?  If  a  man  com- 
mand his  servant  that  is  lame  to  go  on  his  business, 
the  refuser  hath  a  good  excuse :  I  cannot  go,  or  not 

188  DIRECTIONS   TO    THE    UNCONVfittTfiD. 

without  great  pain  and  dadger/  BtiC  if  h6  have  a  scin, 
or  a  servant,  that  is  so  wanton  that  he.  cartiiot  dt^nd  on 
his  legs,  but  spends  his  time  in  running  up  and  down, 
and  dancing,  andJeaping;  this  person  hath  no  excuse, 
if  he  will,  refuse  to  go  on  his  ifl&stei^s  or  his  father's^ 
errand,i(but  itillgad  about  On  his  pleasure  all  day,' 
and  will  not  go  a  fe*r  steps  when  he  is  bidden  ;  espe^ 
eiially  if  it  were  fdr  his  own  life  Or  Avelfafei     S6,  wbeiai 
you  have  thought^  that  will  not  be  kept  idle j  bttt  will 
be  gadding  abroad  through  th©  \V6rld,  aiid  yet  you 
■will  not  think  of  God,  and  the  matters  of  your  peace, 
what  wilfulness  is  this!     If  you  shobld  ask  ofie  that 
hath  it  not,  for  meat  or  drink,  of  tttOney,  they  might 
well  deny  you.    But  if  you  ask  these  of  one  that  hath 
abundance,  and  kiaows  not  Wli&t  to  do  with  them, 
but  would  throw  thetn  down  the  chaHiiel  rathet  thaa 
you  should  have  theha,  what  Would  yoU  thiilk  Of  stich 
a  one ;  especially  if  it  were  yout  sefVant  or  youf 
child,  that  owed  you  much  more?    Thus  do 'you  by 
God  and  your   own   soulte.      YoU  have  thoughts 
enough  and  to  spare,  yoti^kiiow  nOt  what  to  do  with 
them;  and  yet  rather  than  you  will  spend  One  hour 
in  a  day  or  a  week,  in  serioUs  thoughts  Of  the  state  Of 
your  souls,  and  the  life  to  cotne,  you  will  cast  thetii 
away  Upon  news  and  tales,  and  other  pteople's  busi- 
ness, that  do  not  concern  you ;  yea,  you  will  cast 
them  down  the  sink  of  covetousness,  and  malice,  and 
lust,  and  wantonness,  and  make  them  servants  to  the 
devil  and  the  fleshy     If  you  have  a  brook  running  by 
your  land,  you  Will  endeavoUr  to  turn  it  Over  your 
ground,  that  seeing  it  must  run,  it  Uiay  as  well  run 
that  way  where  it  may  do  good,  as  run  in  vain.     So 
when  your  thoughts  must  run;  is  it  not  better  that 
you  turn  them  to  your  own  hearts  and  states,  to  pre- 
pare for  the  world  that  you  are  ready  to  Step  into',  than 


to  let  them  run  in  vain  ?    If  you  see  a  man  go  into  a 
wine-oellar,  (though  it  be  his  own,)  and  pull  out  all 
thespiggot3,and  let  all  the  wine  run  about  the  cellar, 
and  suffer  nobody  to  catch  it,  or  be  the  better  for  it, 
what  would  you  conceive  of  the  wisdom  and  charity 
of  that  man  ?     Your  thoughts  are  a  thing  more  pre- 
cious than  wine,  and  such  a  thing  as  should  not  be 
spill ;  and  yct  is  not  this  your  every  day's  practice  ? 
You  ate  before  Him  that  knows  your  thoughts: 
deny  it  if  you  can.    What  hour  of  the  day  can  a  man 
come  to  you,  an<f  find  your  thbughts  altogether  idle? 
What  minute  at  an  hour  can  a  man  come  and  ask  you, 
What  are  you  now  thinking  on  ?    And  call  you  truly 
say.  Nothing?     I  know,  as  long  as  you  are  awake, 
you  are  always  thinking  of  somewhat ;  and  perhaps 
when  you  are  asleep.  And  what  is  it  on  ?    This  body 
shall  have  a  thought,  and  that  body  a  thought ;  every 
word  you  hear,  and  every  wrong  that  is  done  you, 
and  almost  every  thing  ybu  look  upon,  shall  have  a 
thought :  but  God  and  your  own  salvation  shall  liave 
none ;  that  is,  you  will  lose  themi  and  let  them  run 
in  waste;  but  you  will  do  no  good  with  them,  nor 
take  in  any  profit  by  them  to  yourselves. 

6.  Have  you  any  thing  that  better  (Reserves  your 
consideration  than  God  and  yoiir  salvation  ?  Cer- 
tainly God  hath  more  right  to  your  thoughts,  than 
any  thing  else  you  can  place  them  on.  Your  flesh, 
yout  friends,  your  wbrldly  business,  are  .neither  so 
honourable,  so  necessary,  or  so  profitable  subjects,  as 
God  and  heaven  are.  As  there  is  more  profit  to  be 
got  by  the  tillage  of  flruitful  land,  than  barren  heath ; 
Of  by  digging  in  a  mine  of  gold,  than  in  a  clay-pit ;  so 
is  there  more  pleasure  and  profit  to  be  gotten  in  one 
hour's  serious  '  thoughts  of  your  salvation,  than  in 
thinking  all  your  lifetime  of  the  world. 

190         DIRECTIONS    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED. 

7,   At  least  methinks  you  should  consider,  ho\r 
disprbportionably  and   unequally  you,  lay  out  your 
thoughts.     Cannot  you  spare  God  the  tenths?  no, 
nor  the-hundreth  part  of  them?     Look  baqk  upon 
your  lives,  and  trace  your  thoughts  from  day  to  day, 
and  tell  me  how  many  hours  in  a  week,  in  a  month, 
in  a  year,,  you  have  spent  in  serious  thoughts  of  the 
state  of  your  souls,  and  of  the  life  to  come?     Is  it 
one  hour  of  a  hundred,  of  a  thousand,  often  thou- 
sand, with  some  pf  you,  that  is  thus  spent  ?     Nay,  I 
have  very  great  cause  to  fear,  that  there  are  some; 
yea,  that  there  are  many ;  yea,  that  there  is  far  the 
greatest  number,  that  never  spent  one  hour  since  they 
were  born,  in  withdrawing  themselves  purposely  from 
all  other  business,  and  soberly,  and  in  good  sadness, 
bethinking  themselves  what  case  they  are  in,  what 
evidence  they  have  of  their  title  to  salvation,  or  how 
they  must  be  justified  at  the  bar  of  God;  no,  nor 
what  business  they  have  in  the  world,  and  to  what 
end  they  were  made,  and  how  they  have  done  the 
work  that  they  were  made  for.     Ah,  sirs,  doth  con- 
science justify  you  in  this ;  or,  rather,  will  it  not 
torment  you  one  day  to  remember  it  ?    Did  thy  land, 
and  livings,  and  worldly  matters,   deserve  all   thy 
thoughts ;  and  did  not  the  saving  of  thy  soul  deserve 
some  of  them?    Did  thy  lusts,  and  sports,  and  wan- 
tonness, deserve  all ;  and  did  not  God  deserve  some 
of  them?     Was  it  not  worth  now  and  then  an  hour's 
time;  no,  not  one  hour's  study  in  all  thy  life,  to 
bethink  thee  in  good  sadness  how  to  make  sure  of  a 
life  of  endless  joy  and  glory,  and  how  to  escape  the 
flames  of  hell  ?     This  is  not  an  equal  distribution  of 
thy  thoughts,  as  thou  wilt  confess  at  last  in  the  horror 
of  thy  soul. 

8.  It  is  the  end  of  your  present  time  and  warnings; 


that  youmay  consider,  and  prepare  for  your  everlast- 
ing state.  What  have  you  to  do  on  earth,  but  to 
Qonsider  howr  to  get  well  to  heaven  ?  O  that  you  did 
but  know  what  a  mercy  it  is,  before  you  enter  upon 
an  endless  life,  to  have  but  time  to  bethink  you  of  it, 
and  to  make  your  election  sure  !  If  you  were  to  be 
called  away  suddenly  this  night,  and  the  angel  of  the 
Lord  sliould  say  to  any  of  you,  Prepare ;  for  within 
this  hour  thou  must  die,  and  appear  before  the  living 
God  :  then  would  you  not  cry  out,  O  not  so  suddenly, 
Lord  ?  Let  me  have  a  little  more  time  to  consider  of 
my  condition :  Let  me  have  one  month  longer,  to 
bethink  me  of  the  case  of  my  soul,  and  to  make  sure 
that  I  am  justified  from  the  guilt  of  my  sins :  Let  me 
have  one  day  more  at  least  to  prepare  for  my  everlast- 
ing state ;  for,  alas,  I  am  yet  unready  !  Would  not 
these  be  your  cries,  if  God  should  call  you  presently 
away  ?  And  yet  now  you  have  time,  you  will  not 
consider  of  these  matters,  and  prepare. 

9.  Moreover,  is  it  not  time  for  you  to  coosider  your 
ways,  when  God  doth  coftsider  them  ?  If  he  would 
forget  them,  or  did  not  regard  them,  you  might  regard 
them  the  less  yourselves  :  but  he  sure  of  it,  he  doth 
observe  them  whether  vou  do  or  not;  and  he  remem- 
bereth  them  though  you  forget  them.  Dost  thou  not 
know  that  all  the  sins  of  thy  life  are  still  on  record 
before  the  Lord?  Thm  nvmberest  my  steps:  dost 
thou  not  watch  over  my  sin?  My  transgression  is 
sealed  up  in  a  bag,  and  thou  sewest  up  mine  ini' 
quity.*  Do  you  think  that  God  forgets  your  sins  as 
you  forget  them  ?  Saith  the  Lord  by  the  prophet 
Hosea,  They  consider  not  in  their  hearts,  that  I 
remember  all  their  wickedness:  now  their  doings 
have  beset  them  about,  they  are  before  my  face.v  But 

*  Job  xiv.  l6>  17. 


you  will  say*  What  if  God  do  consider  pur  ways  ? 
Why  surely  thien  it  is  not  for  iaptbipg,  but  evil  is 
near,  if  not  prevented.  "As  the  Lord  saith,  Is  this  pot 
laid  up  in  store  with  me,  and  sealed  up  among  my 
treasures  ?,«  To. me  belpogeth  vengeance,  and  recom- 
pence;  their  foot  shall  .slide  in  due  time.  For  the 
day  of  their  calamity  is  at  band ;  and  the  things  that 
shall  come  upon  them  make  haste.  If  God  be  regis- 
tering up  thy  sins,  thou  ha§t  cause  to  tremble  to 
think  what  that  portencls;  for  in  this,  bardn^s  and 
impenitency  ;of  thy  heartj  thou  art  treasuring  up 
wrath  against  the  day  of  i wrath,  and  revela,tipn,  of  the 
righteous  judgments  of  Grod,  As  grace  is  the  seed 
of  glory,  so  sin  is  th^  seed  of  shame*  9Q4  trouble,  and 
0VedastTng  torment:  a«id  though  it  may  seem  long 
before  the  harveeti  you  will- taste  the  better  fruit  at 
last;  and  whatsoever  y<«u  have  sowed,  that  shall  you 
reap.         .  nil  ■  .,   -m. 

10.  Moreoveii,  if  any  thing  ailed  you,  you  look  that 
God  should  presently' consider  you;  or  if  yow  want 
any  thing,  you  think  he  should  consider  your  wants: 
and  yet  will  you  not  consider  of  him,  and  of  your 
own  wants?  When  you  are  in  trouble,  you  will  cry 
to  God,  Have  mercy  upon  me,  O  Lord,  consider  my 
trouble.:  considexand  hear  me,  O  God.  When  you 
lie  in  pain  and  sickness,/  you  will  then  cry  to  God, 
Consider  mine  affliction,p  and  deliver  me.  If  you  be 
oppressed  or  abused,  you  will,  groan  as  the  Israelites 
under  their, task-masters,  and  perhapSj*:ry  to  God,  as 
the  captive  people,  See,  O  Lord,  and  eoasider ;  for 
I  am  become  vile :  Remember,  O  Lord,  what  is  come 
upon  us:  Consider,  and  behold  our  repropch.  And 
fitust  Ood  consider  of  yau^  that  mil  not  consider  of 
him  or  your  own  souls?  or-may  j/ou  not  rather  easpe^ 
that  dreadful  answer  which  he  gives  to  such  regard- 


less  sinners,*  and  hear  your  cries  as  you  hear  his 
counsel,  and  think  ot  you  as  you  thought  of  him? 
Nay,  more  than  so ;  even  while  you  forget  him,  the 
Lord  doth.daily  consider  you,  and  supply  your  wants, 
and  save  you  from  dangers:  and  should  you  then  cast 
him  out  of  your  thoughts?  If  he  did  not  think  on 
you,  you  would -quickly  feel  it  to  your  cost  and 

11.  Moreover,  the  nature  of  the  matter  is  such,  as 
one  would  think  should  force  a  reasonable  creature 
to  consider  of  it,  and  often  and  earnestly  to  consider. 
When  all  these  things  concur  in  the  matter,  he  must 
be  a  block  or  a  madman  that  will  not  consider^  1. 
When  they  are  the  most  excellent,  or  the  greatest 
things  in  all  the  world.  2.  When  they  are  our  own 
matters,  or  nearly  concern  us.  3.  When  they  are 'the 
most  necessary,  and  profitable,  and  delightful  things. 
And,  4.  When  there;  is  much'  difficulty  in  getting 
them,  and  danger  of  losing  them.  And  all  these'go 
together  in  the  matter  of  your  salvation. 

1.  If  you  will  not  think  of  God,  and  yjour  souls,  of 
heaven  and  hei^,  what  then  will  you  think  of?  All 
other  things  in  the  world  are  but  toys  and  jesting 
matters  to  these.  Crowns  and  kingdoms,  lands  and 
lordships,  are  but  chaff  and  bawbles,  dirt  and  dung, 
to  these  everlasting  things.  The  acts  of  renowned 
kings  and  conquerors,  sfte  but  as  puttet*plays  in  com- 
parison of  the  working  out  of  your  salvation.  And 
yet  will  you  not  be  drawn  to  the  consideration  of  such 
astonishing  things  as  these?  One  would  think  that 
the  exceeding  greatness  of  the  matter  should  force 
you  to  consider-  it,  whfeth^r  yoii  will  or  no :  when 
smaller  objiects  affect  not  the  senses,  yet  gfea'ter  will 

•  Prov.  1.  84,  25,  26,  27,  29,  30. 
C  C 


evenenfoBce  tBeir  way.  He  that  hath  so  hard  a  skin 
that  he  cannot  feel  a  feather,  metfainks  shou<ld  feel 
the  we%fae  of  a  iniiHstorae;  snd' if  he  fed  not  the  prick 
of  apin^  methinks  he  should  feel  a  daggier.  I$e  that 
cannot  hear  one  whisper,  methinks  sliould  hear  a 
cannon^  cjr  a  cl&p  of  thunder^  if  he  have  any  su«h 
thing  as  hearing  left  to  him.  He  hath  bad  eyes-that 
cannot  see  the  sun.  One  would  think  that  so  gkffious 
an  dbject  as  God^  should  so  entice  the  eyes  of  men, 
that  £b&^  should  not  look  off  him.  One  would  think 
that  such  matters  as  heaven  and  hell  should  -follow 
thy  thoughts  which  way  ever  thou  goest,  so  Hhafc  thou 
shouldst  not  be  able  to  look  besides  thems  oc  tO'think 
almost  of  any  thing  else,  unless  with  great  neglect  and 
disesteem.  O  what  a  thing  is  a  stony  heart,  that  can 
forget  not  only  the  God  that  .he  liveth  by,  but  also 
the  plate  where  he  must  live  for  ever  1  yea,  that  will 
not  be  persuaded  to  the  sober  coiisideration  of  it 
for  one  hour !    . 

2.  And  as  these  are  the  greatest  matters,  so  they 
are  your  own  matters ;  aod  therefore  one  would  think 
you  should  not  need  so  much  ado  to  bring  you  to 
consider  them.  If  it  were  only  other  men's  matters, 
I  should  not  wonder  at  it.  But  self-love  ^lould  make 
you  regard  your  own.  In  outward  Qiatters-»  all  seek 
their  own  things.  And  have  thegs  not  more  re^on  to 
seek  their  own  saijvation  ?  It  is  your  own  souls,  your 
own  danger,  your  own  sin,  your  own  duty,  that  1  pert- 
suade  you  to  consider  of.  It  is  that  Godaod'  Christ, 
that '  would  be  your  owii :  it  is  that  heaven,  that 
blessedness,  that  may  be  your  own,  if  you  lose  it  not 
by  neglect ;  it  is  that  hell  and  torment,  that  will  cer- 
tainly be  your  own,  if  you  prevent  it  not.  And 
should  not  these  be  thought  on  ?     You  will  think  of 

DIRECTIONS   TO   THE   UlfCONVEMED-        195 

your  own  goods,  lands,  or  ricl^s ;  of  youi  own 
families,  your  own  business,  your  own  lives:  and 
why  not  also  of  your  own  salvation  ? 
-  3.  Especially,  when  it  is  not  only  your  own,  but  it 
is  the  one  thing  needful : — It  is  thiat  which  your  life 
or  death,  your  everlasting 'joy  or  torment,  lieth  on; 
drOid (therefore  must  be  conddered  of,  or  you  are  uttepljt 
undone  for  ever.  Necessity  lieth  upon  you ; 'and 
woe  be  to  you  iif  yom  consider  not  these  things.  It 
is  not  so  inecessaffy  that  you  eat  or  drink,  or  sleep,  or 
live,  as  it  is  necessary  that  you  make  sure  your  ever- 
lasting life. — And  the  psoiit  also  doth  answer  the 
necessity.  Buy  but  this  one  pearl,  and  you  will  be 
infinite  gainers,  though  you  sell  all  that  you  have  in 
the  world  to  buy  it.  Get  God,  and  get  all :  make 
sure  of  heaven,  and  then  fear  no  loss,  nor  want,  nor 
sorrow.  If  you  count  not  all  the  world  as  dung,  for 
the  winning  of  Christ,  that  you  inay  be  foiind  in  him, 
possessed  of  his  righteousness,  it  is  because  yoii  know 
neithier  the  world  nor  Christ.— Yea,  the  delight  also 
will  answer  the  commodity :  for  in  the  presence  of 
God  is  fulness  of  joy,  and  at  his  right-hand  are  plea* 
sures  for  evermore.  And  the  forethoughts  of  them 
may  well  make  glad  our  hearts,  and  cause  our  glory 
to  rejoice.  For  goodness  and  mercy  shall  follow  ua 
all  the  days  of  our  lives,  and  we  shall  dwell  in  the 
house  of  the  Lord  for  ever.  He  shall  guide  us  with 
his  counsel,  and  afterward  receive  us  into  glory.  And 
lest  you  yet  should  susipect  any  lack  of  comfort,  he 
tells  you,  you  shall  enter  into  the  joy  of  your  Lord; 
and  that  you  shall  be  with  him  where  he  is,  to  behold 
his  glory. 

'  4.  And  yet  "if  all  this  might  be  had  with  a  wet 
finger ;  if  heaven  were  the  portion  of  worldlings  and 
sluggards,  thai:  trouble  not  tlieir  tliiouighls  much  about 


it;  then  you  might  have  some  excuse  for  your 
inconsideratenes».  But  it  is  not  so :  there  are 
difficulties  in  your  way;  and  they  are  many  and 
great.  What  a  dark  understanding  have  you  to  in- 
form !  What  a  dull  and  backward  nature  to  spur 
on!  What  an  unreasonable  appetite !  What  raging 
passions !  What  violent  rebellious  senses  to  contend 
with,  to  master,  and  to  rule!  Abundance  of  adver- 
saries on  every  hand:  a  subtle  devil,  and  as  malicious 
as  subtle,  and  as  furious  and  able  to-  do  you  a 
mischief,  if  God  restrain  him  not.  A  world  of 
wicked  men  about  you  ;  each  one  more  stiiff  in  error 
than  you  in  the  truth ;  and  more  fast  to  the  devil 
.than  you  are  to  God,  if  his  grace  do  not  hold  you 
faster  than  you  will  hold  yourselves :  and  therefore 
they  are  more  able  to  deceive  you,  than  you  are  to 
undecei-ve  them  :  many  of  them  are  crafty,  and  can 
puzzle  such  ignorant  beginner^  as  you,  and  put  a 
facp  of  reverence  and  trutltilpon  damnable  errors, 
and  pernicious  ways:  and  thosd  that  have  not  wit, 
have  foolish  violence,  and  scorn,  and  passion,  and 
can  drive  yoif  towardshell,  if  they  cannot  draw  you. 
All  these  enemies  you  must  conquer,  or  you  are  lost. 
And  is  it  not  time  for  a  man,  in  so  much  danger,  to 
consider  of  them,  that  he  may  know  how  to  escapel? 
— and  for  one  that  is  compassed  about  with  such  dif- 
ficujtiesj  to  consider  how  he  may  well  go  through 
them  ?  What  abundance  of  things  have  you  to 
consider  of?  Of  all  your  life  past:  of  the  relations 
you  have  born,  and  how  you  have  performed  the 
duties  of  those  relations:  of  the  time  you  have  had, 
and  how  you  have  spent  il:  of  the  means  you  have 
had,  and  what  you  have  received  by  them :  of  the 
presentstateof  your  souls,  your  sins,  your  miseries, 
your  hopes,  and  the  duties  that  are  incumbent  on 


you,  in  order  to  your  recovery :  of  the  temptations  to 
be  encountered  with,  and  the  grace's  that  are  daily 
to  be  exercised  and  coniifined.  Should  not  a  man 
bethink  himself  with  all  possible  care,  and  consideri,, 
and  a,  hundred  times  consider,  that  hath  all  this  to 
do,  of  be  undone  for  ever  ?  You  have  much  to  know, 
and  much  to  do,  receive,  and  suffer,  that  hath  diffi- 
culty joined  with  necessity.  Were  it  necessary,  and 
not  hard,  the  facility  might-draw  you  to  make  light 
of  it;  and  were  it  hard,  and  not  'necessary;  the 
difficulty  might  more  discourage  you  than  the  matter 
might  excite  you  :  but  it  must  be  done,  or  you  must 
be  shut  out  of  heaven,  and  lie  in  hell  for  it  world 
without  end.  And  yet  there  are  so  many  difficulties 
in  the  way,  I  think  it  is  time  to  look  about  yoii,  and 
seriously  consider. 

12.  To  conclude;  Consideration  would  prevent  a 
world  of  misery,  which  else  will  make  you  consider 
when  it  is  too  late.  It  must  be  a  principal  means  of 
your  salvation,  if  ever  you  be  saved.  If  God  have  so 
much  mercy  for  you,  he  will  make  you  consider,  an«^ 
set  your  sins  in  order  before  you.  He  will  set  before 
you  a  crucified  Christ,  and  tell  you,  that  this  your 
sins  have  done ;  and  make  you  think  of  the  reason  of 
his  sufferings,  and  what  there  is  in  sin  that  could 
require  it ;  and  what  it  is  to  rebel  against  the  Lord, 
and  run  yourselves  into  the  consuming  fire.  Now 
your  thoughts  are  gadding  abroad  the  world,  and 
straggling  after  every  trifle,  and  going  away  from 
God;  but  if  ever  God  save  you,  he  will  overtake 
your  hearts  and  fetch  them  home,  and  show  them 
that  they  have  somewhat  else  to  think  on.  If  com- 
Toands  will  not  serve,  he  will  send  out  his  threatenings, 
and  terrors  shall  come  upon  you,  and  pursue  your  soul 
as  the  wind,*  If  you  are  taken  up  with  the  cares  of 
*  J«bzxxiii.  15. 


the'worldj  he  will  show  yoathat  y;ou  have  somewhat 
else  to  care  for,  and  "drown  those  cares  in  greater 
cares.  If  you  have  such  giddy,  unsettled,  vagrant ' 
minds,  that  you  cannot  call  in  your  thoughts  to  God, 
nor  hold  them  with^hitn;  he  will  lay  those  ctogs  and 
bolts  upon  them  at  first,*^  that  shall  restrain  them  from 
their  idle  vagaries ;  and  theu  he  will  set  upon  them 
such  bias  as  shall  better  order  thena,  and  fix  them  for 
the  time  to  come.  Men  do  not  choose  to  go  to  heaven, 
aiid  never  think  of  it ;  and  to  escape  the  plague  of 
sin,  and  the.  curse  of  the  law,  and  the  wratb  of  God, 
and  the  rage  of  Satan,  and  never  think  of  it. 

And  now,  before  I  dismiss  this  direction,  I  have  a 
question,  and  a  request,  to  make  to  thee,  whoever 
thou  art,  that  I'eadest  these  lines.  My  question  is 
this  : — Hast  thou  ever  soberly  considered  of  thy 
ways,  and  laid  these  greatest  matters  to  heart,  or  hast 
thou  not  ?  Dost  thou  ever  use  to  retire  into  thyseFf, 
and  spen^  any  time  in  this  needful  work?  If  thou 
dost  not,  my  request  to  thee  is,  that  now  at  last  thou 
wouldst  do  it  without  delay.  Shall  the  Lord  that 
made  thee,  that  bought  t^ee,  that  preserveth  thee, 
request  this  of  thee  ;  jhat  thou  wouldst  .Sometimes 
betake  thyself  into  some  secret  place,  and  set  thyself 
purposely  to  this  work  of  consideration,  and  follow  it 
earnestly,  and  close  with  thy  heart,  till  thou  hast  made 
something  of  it,  and  brought  it  to  a  resolution  ?  Wilt 
thou  then  spend  a  little  tiniie,  in  reasoning  the  case 
with  thyself,  and  calling  thy  heart  to  a  strict  account, 
and  ask'  thyself,^  What  is  it  that  I  was  made  for  ?  And 
what  business  was  I  sent  into  the  world  about?  And 
how  have  I  despatched  it  ?  How  have  I  spept  my 
time,  my  thoughts,  my  words ;  and  how  shall  I  an- 
swer for  them  ?  Am  I  ready  to  die,  it  were  this  hour? 
Am  I  sure  of  my  galvation  ?  -  Is  my  soul  converted, 
and  truly  sanctified  by  the  Holy  Ghost  ?    If  not, 

DIRECTIONS    TO    THE    UNCONVERTED.         199 

what  reason  have  I  to  delay?  Why  do  I  not  set 
about  it,  and  speedily  resolve  ?  Shall^I  linger  till 
death  come  and  find  me  unconverted  ?  O  then  what 
a  sad  appears^nce  shall  I  mak«  before  the  Lord  !  And 
thus  follow  on  the  discourse  with  your  hearts.  What 
say  you,  sirs.  Will  you  here  promise  me  to  bestow 
but  some  few  hours,  if  it  be  but  on  the  Lord's  day, 
or  when  ybu  are  private  on  the  way,  or  in  your  beds, 
or  in  your  shops,  in  .these  considerations  ?  I  beseech 
yoUj  as  evef  you  w,ill  do  any  thing  at  my  request, 
deny  me  not  this  request.  It  is  nothing  that  is  un- 
reasonable. If  I  desired  one  ©f  you  to  spend  an  hour 
in  talking  with  mey  you  would  grant  it ;  yea,  or  if 
it  were  to  ride,  or  go  for  me:  and  will  tyoti. not  be 
entreated  to  spend  now  and  then  a  little  time  in 
thinking  of  the  matters  of  your  own  salvation  ?  Deny 
not  this  much  to  yourselves:  deny  it  not  to. God,  if 
you.  will  deny  it  me.  Should  you  not  bethink  you 
a  few  hours,  of  the  place  and  state  that  you  must 
live  in  for  ever  ?  Men  will  build  strong,  where  they 
think  to  live  long ;  but  a  tent  or  a  hut  will  serve  a 
soldier  for  a  few  nights.  O  sirs,  everlasting  is  a  long 
day.  In  the  name  of  God,  let  not  conscience  have 
such  a  charge  as  this  against  you  hereafter:  Thou  art 
come  to  thy  long  home,  to  thy  endless  state,  before 
ever  thou  spendest  the  space  of  an  hour,  in  deep,  and 
sad,  and  serious  considerations  of  it,  or  in  trying  thy 
title  to  it.  O  what  a  confounding  charge  would  this 
be .'  I  am  confident  I  have  the  witness  of  your 
consciences  going  along  with  me,  and  telling  you,  it 
is  biit  reasonable,  yea,  and  needful,  which  I  say.  If 
yet  you  will  not  do  it,  and  I  cannot  beg  one  hour's 
sober  discourse  in  secret,  between  you  and  your 
he^ts,  about  these  things,  then  what  remedy,  but 
even  to  leave  you  to  your  misery  ?    But  I  Shall  tell 


you,  in  the  conclusion,  that  I  have  no  hope  of  that 
soul  that  will  not  be  persuadeil  to  this  duly  of  con- 
sideration ;  but  if  I  pould  persuade  you  to  this 
reasonable,  this  cheap,  this  necessary  work,  and  to 
follow  it  close,  I  should  haVe  exceeding  great  hopes 
of  the  salvation  of  you  all.  I  have  told  the  truth : 
consider  what  I  say,  and  the  Lord  give  you  under- 
standing! Or  if  you  put  me  to  conclude  in  harsher 
terms,  they  shall  still  be  the  pr^cles'of  God.  Nov? 
consider  this,  ye  that  forget  God,  lest  I  tear  you  in 
pieces,  and  there  be  none  to  deliver  you.    Psalm  1.  22. 

The  next  direction  which  I  shall  give  you,  that 
the  work  of  your  conversion  may,  not  miscarry,  is 
this:  See  that  the  work  of  humiliation  be  thoroughly 
done,  and  break  not  away  from  the  Spirit  of  contrition, 
before  he  have  done  wi4,h  you :  and  yet  see  that  you 
,  mistake  not  the  nature  and  the  ends  of  the  work,  and 
that  you  drive  it  not  on  further  than  God  requireth  you- 

Here  I  shall,    1.  Show  you    the  true  nature  of. 
hitmiliation.     And,  2.  The  use  and  ends  of  it.     And 
3.    The    mistakes   about  it  that, you   must    avoid. 
And   lastly,  I  shall  press  on   the  substance  of  the 
direction,  and  show  you  the  necessity  of  it. 

1.  There  is  a  preparatory  humiliation  that  goes 
before  a  saving  change,  which  yet  is  not  to  be 
despised,  because  there  is  a  drawing  somewhat  nearer 
unto  God,  though  it  be  not  a  faithful  closure  with 
him.  This  preparatory  humiliation,  which  many 
have  that  perish,  doth  chiefly  consist  in  these  things 
following :  1.  It  lieth  most  in  the  fear  of  being 
damned  ;  as  it  is  most  in  the  passions,  so  most  in  this 
of  fear.  2.  It  consisteth  also  in  some  apprehension  of 
the  greatness  of  our  sins,  and  the  wrath  of  God.  that 
hangs  over  our  heads,  arid  the  danger  that  we  are  in 
ofbejqgdatqned  forever.  3.  It  consisteth  also  in  some 


apprehensions  of  the  folly  that  we  are  guilty  of  in 
sinning,  and  of  some  repentings  that  ever  we  did  it, 
and  some  remorse  of  conscience  for  it.  4.  Hereto 
may  be  joined  some  passions  of  sorrow,  and  this 
expressed  by  groans  and  tears.  5.  And  all  this  may 
be  accompanied  with  confessions  of  sin  to  God.  and 
man,  and  lamentations  for  our  misery,  and  in  some 
measure  it  proceedeth  to  desperation  itself.  6.  And 
lastly,  It  may  proceed  to  an  indignaitidn  against  our- 
selves, and  to  the  taking  a  severe  revenge  of  ourselves ; 
yea,  more  than  Gq3  would  have  men  take;  as  Judas 
did  by  self-destroying.  This  desperation  of  self-exe- 
cution, are  no-  parts  of  the  preparatory  humiliation ; 
but  the  excess  and  error  of  it,  and  the  entrance  upon 

-  i  See  that  you  close  with  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ 
understandingly,  heartily,  and  entirely,  as  he  is 
revealed  and  offered  to  you  in  the  gospel.  In  this 
your  Christianity  doth  consist;  upon  this  your  justi- 
fication and  salvation  lie.  This  is  the  sum  of  your 
conversion,  and  the  very  heart  of  your  new  creature. 
The  rest  is  all  but  the  preparatives  to  this,  or  the 
fruits  of  this.  Christ  is  the  end  and  the  fulfilling  of 
the  law  ;  the  substance  of  the  gospel ;  the  way  to  the 
Father ;  the  life,  the  help,  the  hope,  of  the  believer. 
If  you  know  not  him,  you  know  nothing ;  if  you 
possess  not  him,  you  have  nothing ;  and  if  you  are 
out  of  him,  you  can  do  nothing  that  hath  a  promise 
of  salvation.  ' 

I  beseech,  you  ^  therefore  remember  what  it  is  to 
be  truly  converted:  It  is  to  be  called  from  things 
common  and  unclean,  and  separated  to  God ;  it  is 
to  be  brought- high  to  him,  as  the  children  of  his 
household,  that  are  themselves,  and  all  that  they 
have,  in  his  hands;  it  is  to  be  taken  off  yourselves, 

D    D 

SOa         I>IREC'IIO]>{S;  TO    THE    UNC.ONVERXED. 

and  yo^Ui?  owo,  and  to  lose  youjlaelves,  and<  all  you 
have,  in  GiQd,,  by  the  most  g^infeiit  loss;,  lest  mdeed 
yon  lose  yoiw^elves,  and  all  the  whjle  you.  persuade 
yOMrsgliHes.  you  save  or,  gain.  It  is  a  taking  God.  in 
Qhrist,  for  your  all',  and  so.  being  content  to  have 
nothing  but  hiai,  and  for  hiro.  It  is.,  a,  chafliging  of 
yQjWold  i»astei:„se|f,for  God,:a  better  master;,  and  your 
old,  vv'orfc,  whieh  was,  self-seeking  and  sd£?pJieastng,  to 
self-^diB^'ial,  and:  to^the  seek itog;  and  pleasingrof  God. 
See  now  that  this  be  done,  andi  that  your  tlneacherous 
hearts  hide  nothing  for  themselves,  as  RaeheL,,  under 
piietence  of  necessity,  bidlher  idols;  bu*  say,  Here 
I  am,  to  he  thine,  O  Lord,  and  to  do  ihy,.wilh 

My  next  advice,  that  the  work  of '^conversion  may 
not  miscarry,  is  this:  Take  heed,  lest  you  mistake  a 
mere  change  of  your  opinions,  and'outward  profession 
and  behaviour,  for  a  true  saving  change. 

Wicked  opinjons  must;  he  changed^  a^nd  so  must 
evil,  prg&ssionB  and;  out-w^d  practices;  but  if  no 
more  be  chaoget^,  you  ate  wiokediataU'.  I  have  great 
cause  to- feacthafc  this  is, the  most  common,  damning 
deceit  that  befalleth,  professors*  of  godlinessj  and  that 
it, is  the  case,  of  uvost;  hypocrities;  in  the  church.  '  ' 
i^  man  may  be  brought  to  hold)  any,  truthiin  scripture 
as  an  opinion,,  and:  so  far  be;  sound,  and:  orthodox ; 
and' yet  never  be  indeed  a  sound  believer,  nor  have 
his:  heart  possessed,  withi  the-  life  and  power  of  those 
sacned  trAitbs.  It  is  one:  thing:  to;  have  a  man's 
opinion  changed,  and  another  thing  to  have  his.  heart 
renewed  by  the  change;  of  his  practical  estimation, 
resolutions,  and  dispositions.  It  is  one  thingto  turn 
from  loose  profane,  opinions,  toi  strict  opinions;-  and 
think  the  godly,  are  indeed;  in  the  right,  andithat  their 
case  and  way  is  safest  and  best;  and  it  is  another 
thing: to  be  made  one  of  them  in  newness  and  spiri- 

©IRBCTIONS  TO   rHE   trNfiONVEftTlto.        403 

tuality  of  heart  and  life.  A  iively  faith  ■dififers  much 
from  icxpinion ;  and  that  which  is  in  BUiholy  meat 
which  we  call  faith,  and  is  a  kitid  of  iaitth  indeed,  is 
Wit  a  mere  "Opinionative  faith.  I  call  it  an  opini- 
«niative  faith,  becaiase  it  differs  from  a  saving  faith, 
much  Wkie  as  opinion  doth  from  knowledge.  Merely 
speculative  it  is  'not;  for  some  intention  of  practice 
there  is :  but  the  practical  intention  of  such  persons 
differs  from  the  predominant  intention  of  the  sanctified} 
eveti  as  their  opiwionative  faith  differs  from  the  saving 

0  what  abundance  of  fjoor  neighbours  would  go 
to  heaven,  that  are  now  in  the  way  to  hell,  if  an 
opinion  that  godliness  is  the  wisest  course  would  serve 
the  turn  1  If  instead  of  conversion,  God  would  take 
up  with  an  opinion  that  they  ought  to  turn ;  and  if 
inst^d  of  a  holy  heavenly  life,  God  would  accept  of 
an  opinion  that  sueh  are  the  happiest  men  that  live 
such  a  life ;  and  if  instead  of  temperance,  and  meek- 
r»ess,  and  self-denial,  and  forgiving  Wrongs,  God  would 
accept  of  an  opinion  and  confession,  that  they  should 
be  temperate  and  meek,  and  self-denying,  and  should 
forbear  others,  and  forgive  them ;  then  O  what 
abundance  would  be  saved,  that  are  now  in  little  hope 
of  salvation !  If  instead  of  a  diligent  life  of  holiness, 
and  good  works,  it  would  serve  the  turn  to  lie  still,and 
be  of  a  good  opinion,  that  men  should  strive  and  labour 
for  salvation,  and  lay  out  a'U  they  have  for  God  ;  how 
happy  then  were  our  towns  and  countries,  in  com- 
parison of  what  they  are  ! 

1  am  afraid  this  deceit  will  be  the  undoing  of  many, 
that  they  take  a  change  of  their  opinions  for  a  true 
conversion.  Have  not  some  of  you  been  formerly  of 
the  mind,  that  the  best  way  is  to  eat  and  drink,  and 
be  merry,  and  venture  your  souls,  and  follow  your 


worldly  businesSj;  and  never  trouble  yourselves  with 
any  deep  and  searching  ^thoughts  about  your  spiritual 
state,  or  your  salvation  ?  Have  you  not  thought  that 
this  diligent  godliness  is  but  a  needless, strictness  and 
preciseness  ?  Apd  have  you  not  since  been  convinced 
of  your  error,  and  perceived  that  this  is  the  wisest 
course,  which  you  before  thought  to  be  needless,  and 
thereupon  have  betaken  you  to  the  company  of  the 
godly,  and  set  upon  a  course  of  outward  duties  ? 
And  now  you  think  that  you  are  made  new  creatures, 
and  that  this  is  regeneration,  and  the  work  is  done.-:- 
I  fear  lest  this  be  all  the  conversion  that  many  forward 
professors  are  acquainted  with:  but  woe  to  them  that 
have  no  mbre ! 

And  because  the  face  of  our  present  times  doth 
plainly  show  the  commonness  and  the  prevalency  of 
this  disease,  and  because  it  is  a  master  of  so  great 
concernment  to  you,  I  shall  here  give  you  (but  as 
briefly  as  I  well  can)  some  signs  by  which  a  true  con- 
version may  be  known,  -from  this  mere  opinionatives 

.  1.  The  true  convert  is  brought  to  an  unfeigned 
hatred  of  the  whole  body  of  sin  ;  and  especially  of 
those  secret  or  beloved  sins,  that  did  most  powerfully 
captivate  hi-m  before.  But  the  opinionative  convert 
is  still  carnal  and  unfructified,  and  inwardly,  at  the 
heart,  the  interest  of  the  fles.h  is  habitually  predomi- 
nant. He  is  not  brought  to  an  irreconcileable  hatred 
to  the  great  master-sins  that  .ruled  him,  and  lay 
deepest ;  but  only  hath  eased  the  top  of  his  stomach, 
and  crppt  off  some  of  the  branches  of  the  tree  of 
death.  The  thorns  of  worldly  desires  and  cares,  are 
still  rooted  in  his  heart ;  and  therefore  no  wonder  if 
they  choke  the, seed  of  wholesome  truth,  and  there 
hje  a  greater  harvest  for  the  devil  than  for  GQd. 

DIRECTIONS   TO   THE   UNCONVERTED.         205  < 

2.  Another  sign  that  follows  upon  this,  is,  that 
the  sound  convert  doth  carry  on  the  course  of  liis 
crfjedience  in  a  way  of  self-denial,  as  living  in  a  con- 
tinual conflict  with  his  own  flesh,- and  expecting  his. 
comfort  and  salvation  tp  come  in  upon  the  conquest; 
and  therefore  he  can  suffer  for  Christ,  as  well  as  be 
found  in  cheaper  obediencejand  be  dare  not  ordinarily 
refuse  the  most  cdstly  service.  For  the  spoils  of  his 
fleshly  desires  are  his  prey,  and«crownof  glorying  in 
the  Lord.  '  . 

But  the  opinionative  convert  still  liveth  in  his 
carnal  self;  and  therefore  secretly,  at  least,  seeks 
himself,  and  layeth  hold  on  present  things,  as  a  true 
convert  layeth  hold  on-  eternal  life.  The  truths  of 
God  being  received  but  into  his  opinion,  do  not  go 
deep  enough  to  conquer  self,  and  to  take  down  his 
great  idol,  nor  make  him  go  through  fire  and  water, 
and  to  serve  God  with  the  best,  and  honour  him  with 
his  substa:iice,  much  less  witih  his  sufferings  and  death. 

3.  The  sound  convert  hath  taken  God  for  his 
portion,  and  heaven  for  that  sure  apd  full  felicity, 
which  he  is  resolved  to  venture  upon  ;  that  is  it  that 
he  hath  set  his.  heart  and  hopes  upon,  and  thither 
pinds  the  drift  of  his  life. 

But  he  that  is  changed  only  in  his  opinions,  had 
never  such  sure  apprehensions  of  the  life  to  come, 
nor  so  full  a  confidence  in  the  promises  of  God,  as  to 
set  his  heart  upfeignedly  upon  God,  and  make  him 
truly  heiivenly-minded.  He  may  have  a  heavenly 
tongue,  but  he  hath  an  earthly  heart.  A  bare 
opinio!),  be  it  ever-  so  true,  will  not  raise  men's  hearts 
so  high,  as  to  mak^e  their  affections,  and  the  very 
design  and  business  of  their  lives,  to  be  heavenly. 

4.  The  sound  convert  hath  seen  the  vileness  of 
bimself,  in  the  sinfulness  of  his  heart  and.  life,  and 


the  misery  thereby  deserved ;  and  so  is  a  sincerely 
humbled  selfHaccusing  man.  ' 

But  the  opiniioptist  is  commonly  imhumbled,  and 
wdl  coDceited  of  himself,  and  a  self-justifying  pha- 
risee ;  unless  it  be  that  self-accusing  will  cost  him  ao 
disgrace,  and  ;he  take  it  up  as  a  custom,  or  that  wiuch 
may  bring  him  into  the  repute  of  being  humbled  and 
sincere.  For  his  opinion  will  not  search  and  pierce 
his  heart,  nor  batter  down  his  self-exalting  thoughts, 
nor  root  up  the  master-sin  of  pride.  These  are  too 
great  works  lor  an  opinion  to  perforaa*  And  there- 
fore you  shall  hear  him  more  in  the  excusing  of  bis 
sin,  the  magnifying  of  himself,  or  the  stiff  imaintaining 
of  his  own  conceits,  than  an  uiafeigued  self-abasing. 

5.  The  sound  convert  is  so  acquainted  with  the 
defects,  and  sins,  and  necessities,  of  his  own  soul, 
that  he  is  much  taken  up  at  home,  in  his  studies,  and 
cares,  and  censures,  and  his  daily  work  :  the  acting 
and.strengthening  of  grace,  the  subduing  of  corrup- 
tion, and  his  daily  walking  with  God,  are  much  of 
his  employment :  Above  all  keeping,  he  keeps  his 
heart,  as  knowing  that  from  thence  are  the  issues 
of  life.  He  cannot  have  time  to  spy  out  the  faults  of 
others,  or  meddle  with  their  affairs,  where  duly  bids 
him  not,  as  others  can  do ;  because  he  hath  sO  much 
to  do  at  home. 

But  the  opinionist  is  most  employed  abroad,  and 
about  mere  notions  and  opinions;  but  he  is  little' 
employed  in  such  heart-searching  or  hea;rt-observing 
work.  His  light  doth  not  pierce  so  dqep,  as  to  show 
him  his  heart,  and  the  work  that  is  there  to  be 
necessarily  done.  As  the  change  is.  little  upon  his 
heart,  so  his  employment  is  little  there.  He  is  little 
in  bewailing  his  secret  defects  and  corruptions,  and 
little  in  keeping  his  soul's  accounts,  and  little  in 


secret  striving  with  his  heart,  to  work  ^t  iatoi  comv 
munion  with  God,  and  into  a  spiritual,  lively,  fruitful 
frame.  He  is  forward  to  aggravate  the  sins  of  others, 
and  oft-times  severe  enough  in  censuring  them  ;  but 
he  is  a  very  gentle  censurer  of  himself,  and  a  patient 
man  with  his  own  corruptions,  and  puts  the  best 
constructioh  upon  all  that  is  his  own.  He  hath  much 
labour  perhaps  in  shaping  his  opinions,  but  little  for 
the  humbling  and  sanctifying  his  heart,  by  the  power 
of  the  truth. 

6.  And  as  the  difference  lieth  thus  const)antly  in 
the  heart,  so  it  is.  usually  manifested  by  the  tongue. 
The  sound  convert  is  most  desirous  to  discourse  of 
those  great  and  saving  truths,  which  his  very  heart 
hath  taken  in,  and  which  he  hath  found  to  be  the 
seed  of  God  for  his  regeneration,  and  the  instruments 
of  that  holy  and  happy  change  that  is  made  upoa 
him:  he  feeleth  most  savour,  and  life,  in  these  great 
and  most  necessary  points.  Read  John  xvii.  3.  1 
Cor.  XV.  1,  3,  3,  4,  5,  6.  1  Cor.  ii.  2.  Phil.  iii.  8, 
9,  10,  11.  1  Tim.  iii.  16.  Acts  xxxvi.  22,  23.  In 
these  scriptures  you  may  find  what  points  they  were 
that  the  greatest  saints  did' study  and  live  upon.  But 
the  opinionist  is  most  forward  to  discourse  of  mere 
opinions,  and  to  feed  upon  the  air  of  notions,  and 
controversies  of  lesser  moment. 

A  serious  Christian,  even  when  he  is  necessitated 
to  speak  of  lower  controverted  points,  yet  doth  it  in 
a  spiritual  manner,  as  one  that  more  savoureth  highec 
truths,  and  makes  a  holy  and  heavenly  life  his  end, 
even  in  these  lower  matters ;  and  deals  about  such 
controversies  in  a  practical  mariner,  and  in  order  to 
the  growth  of  holiness. 

Lastly,  true  converts  are  stedfast,  but  opinionists 
are  usually  mutable  and  unconstant.     The  sound 


convert  receiveth  the  greatest  truths,  and  receives  the 
goodness  as  well  as  the'triith;  and  takes  it  not  only 
into  the  head,  but  into  the  heart,  and  giveth  it  de'ep 
rooting:  he  closeth  with  God  as  his  ovvn  felicity i and 
witlt  Christ  as  his  only  refuge  and  redeemer,  ahd  with 
heaven  as  the  sure  everlasting  glory,  to  which  the 
world  is  but  a  molehill  or  a  dungeon.  No  wonder 
then  if  this  mati  be  stedfast,  and  immoveable,'always 
abounding  in  the  work  of  theXord.  • 

To  which  end  I  further  desire  you,  1.  To  con- 
sider, that  it  is  a  higher  matter  that  Christ  came  into 
the  world  for,  than  to  change  men's  bare  opinions; 
and  it  is  a  higher  matter  that  the  gospel  is  intended 
for,  and  that  ministers  are  sent  to  you  :  for  it  is  moie 
than  a  corruption  of  men's  opinions,  that  sin  hath 
brought  upon  you ;  and  therefore  it  is  a  .deeper  dis- 
ease that  must  be  cured.  The  work  of  Christ  by 
his  gospel,  is  no  less  than  to  fetch  you  off  all  that 
Which  flesh  and  blood  accounts  your  happiness,  and 
to  unite  you  to  himself,  and  make  you  holy,  as  God 
is  holy,  and  to  give  you  a  new  nature,  and  make  you 
as  the  dwellers  or  citizens  of  heaven,  while  you  walk 
on  earth.  And  these  are  greater  matters  than  the 
changing-of  a  party,  or  opinion.  The  Holy  Spirit 
himself  must  dwell  in  you,  ahd  work-in  you,  and 
employ  your  soul  and  life  for  God,  that  you  may 
study  him,  and  love  him,  and  live  to  him  here,  and, 
live  with  him  for  ever.  Do  but  think  well  of  the 
ends  and  meaning  of  theGospel,  and  how  much  greater 
matters  it  drives  at ;  and  then  you  will  see  that  there 
is  no  taking  up  with  any  opinionative  religion.' 

THE  CONCLUSION.     '  - 
"  And  now  I  have  given  you  directions  in  the  most 
great  and  necessary  business  in  the  world:  they  are 

WW¥CTIA«S  TO  t;«5  unconvertei>,       QOft 

4<^c^  ??.  I.  received  of;  Gpd,  swmJ,  f)litJlf^^y  pr^isfi^». 
W^y  RMt;  ypwjc  ss^lyi^on  paat  a,ll  haz^rcj.    B,U  \y,ba|^ 
%y<  'if^ye  4p^e,  or  vy^ljiain  th^y  will  do,  1  <;apnpt  tell,:, 
b;M^  iflijgt,  leaj;e  the  issues  to,  God  ap^i  you.     lt,isai 
pity  et^rnftl  glory  8^1,1^4, 1?e  lo^t  for  wan  ^  of  yi^ld^og; 
^  SQ.hiPfljr,,  ^ij^  syfeet,  E^od  i;easonabie  a  qour^.g  It  i?;, 
l^pieflt%t>W  tjo  obsser,ve,,  Aybat  ignorant,  base,  ynivyoiFtbyj 
tWwgMs>tliej»ost  h^y^of  th§  y^ry  o^ce  of  tl?^  Poly 
Gbo^t,  wboJ^  t,be  §apptifier  of  ?ill  tljat  Qod  will,  save. 
Tb?;  yw  PW^'  0)f  r^gen^raVion  aoq|,  sanctification,  i^ 
Vf^if  Ufl^erstopdj  Ipy  spn^p,  aijd  is  but  matter,  ojf  detision 
tp.;<#^fi%;  ^4  tbe  Bj^ps^  <,hin.lii  that  i|  is  aiiotHe?  kind 
0/  vp^it^l  tb^ft  iv>Am^  1,1;  is.    To  b§.b?iptizedi,  and  qomei 
tjftc^i^jj^jh,.  ^n4  tiO.say  ^olf^  cold  and  heartless  prayers, 
^r4  to  fprbjf af,  sppije  grpssj  disgraceful  sins,  is  all  tbe 
s?flfitJfip.^W  tlii#ti»9st  are  acq,u<^inted  wi,tb;  (and  all 
l^ye  nf)p  this.)     4^ftd  t^^us^bey  debase  the,  work  of 
tjbe^  Hpjy-  f[^bp^^   "'  If  a  prince  he^ve  built  a  sump- 
tUfO^^s  R^pe,  ajpd  you  will  show  men  a  swine-stye, 
^R4  s^5  Tf*ffi^  i§  ik^  J>9^ce.  tha,t  the  prince  hatb  been 
?9  ^S  %  bviim^g:  we^e  opt  this  tp  abuse  him  by 
CQ^teiupt  ?.     Hej»f wbef  Wbat  it  is  to  believe  in  the 
^i,^npje,  of  th^  J;ather,  Son,^:and   Holy  Ghost:   and 
ij^^in^ec  that  yo^^  were  baptized   into   the  name 
of  the  F^jtjjier,  Sofl„,»^Ei4  Holy  Qhpst.     And  do  you 
i[^pt  yet  ^^^pw  wby  ?  np?  knovt^  the  nieaning  of  youT 
bapljsni^^  qpver^a.^t  ?     I^  is  not  pUily  to  believe  that 
there  are  three  pi^rspps  in  Jhe  Trip;i|ty,  but  to  con- 
^f\^t  to  th-e  ^-^l^^jons  and  6fity.  tp  them,  in  respect  to 
tjliijei^,%^vgr3^  i;el3tipns  a^d  work.     If  the  father  had 
^j|0^  (5?fa|;gd    ypu,  bpw  «ould  you.  have  been  men  ? 
Tjiq.L,prd,.pf  nature  n)U?,t  b?  acknowledged  as  the  end 
^qd  gpjveifnpc  pf  nature,  and  accprtlipgly  pbeyed.  And 
^h,is  is  to  believe?  a,n(^  be  ba^pt^zed  in,  the  name  of  (Gfod 
tbe  Father.    If  ;|the  %n.,|iv?i|d  rjpt  i;p^eem,ed  yp«,  you 

£    £ 


had  been  as  the  devils  were,  forsaken  and  given  over 
to  despair.  The  purchaser,  procurer,  arid  author  of 
grace,  of  pardon;  and  salvation,  must  be  acknowledged 
to  be  such,  himself  and  his  salvation  accordingly 
accepted,  and  his  terms  Submitted  to.  And  this  is  to 
believe  in  the  name  of  the  Son  ;  and  in  baptism  we 
make  profession  hereof.  And  certainJy  the  work  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  is  as  necessary  to  your  salvation. 
Without  the  sanctifying  work  of  the  Spirit,  you  could 
never  be  delivered  from  sin  and  Satan,  nor  restored  to 
God's  image,  and  consequently  could  iiever*be  the 
members  of  Christ,  nor  have  any  saving  benefit  by 
his  sufferings.  Would  you  not  think  him  unworthy 
to  live,  that  would  reproach  the  Father's  work  of 
nature,  and  say,  that  the  whole  creation  is  but  some 
poor  contemptible  work  ?  And  would  you  not  think 
him  unworthy  the  name  of  a  Christian,  that  had 
contemptible  thoughts  of  the  Son's  redemption,  as  if 
we  could  be  saved  as  well  without  a  Saviour^  or  as 
if  it  were  but  some  poor  and  trivial  coniinodTty  that 
■Christ  had  purchased  for  us  ?  I  know  you  would 
confess  the  misery  of  that  man,  that  believed  no  better 
in  the  Father  and  the  Son.  And  how  comes  it  to 
pass  that  you  think  not  of  your  own  misery,  that 
believe  no  better  in  the  Holy  Ghost  ?  Do  you  not 
debase  the'sanctifying  office  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  when 
you  show  us^your  knowledge,  and  parts,  and  outward 
duties,  and  civility,  and  tell  us  that  these  are  this 
work  of  sanctification :  what  is  sanctification  but 
such  a  thing  as  this  ? '  Why,  holiness  is  a  new  life 
and  spirit  in  us;  and  these  that  you  talk  of  are  but 
as  a  few  flowers  that  are  stuck  upon  a  corpse,  to  keep 
it  awhile  from  stinking  among  men,  till  death  conviey 
it  to  a  burial  in  hell.  O  sirs,  sanctification  is  another 
kind  of  matter  than  the  forsaking  of  some  of  your 


fouler  vices,  and  speaking  well  of  a  godly  life.    It  is 
not  the  patching  up  of  the  old  man,  but  the  creating 
of  a  new  man.     I  will  give  you  warning  therefore 
from  God,  that  you  think  not  basely  of,  the  work  of 
the  Holy  Ghost ;  and  that  you  think  no  more  to  be 
saved  without  the  sanctifying  work  of  the  Spirit,  thaa 
without  the  redeeming  work  of  the  Son,  or  creation, 
govern^ment,  or  love  of  the  Father.     Sanctificatioa 
must  turn  the  very  bent. and  stream  of  heart  and  life 
to  God,  to  Christ,  to  heaven  :  it  must  mortify  carnal 
self  and  the  world  to  you  :  it  must  make  you  a  people 
devoted,  consecrated,  and  resigned  up  to  God,  with 
all  that  you  have :  it  must  make  all  sin  odious  to  you, 
and  make  God  the  love  and  desire  of  your  souls;  so 
that  it  must  give  you  a  new  heart,  a  new  end,  a  new 
master,  a  new  law,  and  a  new  conversation.     This  is 
that  noble  heavenly  work  which  the  Holy  Ghost  hath 
vouchsafed  to  make  the  business  of  his  office:  to 
slight  and  despise  this,  is  to  slight  and  despise  the 
Holy  Ghost,  and  not  to  believe  in  him :  to  be  without 
this  work,  is  to  be  without  the  Holy  Ghost:  and  if 
any  man  have  not  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  he  is  none  of 
his.*    The  holy  Catholic  church  is  composed  of  all 
through  the  world  that  have  this  work  upon  them, 
and  therefore  it  is  called  holy.     The  communion  of 
saints,  is  the  blessed  vital  fellowship  of  the  sanctified 
ones:  for  these  only  is  the  resurrection  unto  blessed- 
ness, and  the  life  everlasting  with  the  Lord  of  life; 
for  all  others  is  the  resurrection  of  condemnation,  and 
the  everlasting  punishment. 

But  if  the  other  two  articles  of  our  faith  have  been 

so  denied  by  the  blind,  it  is  less  wonder  if  this  be  so. 

Some  heretics  denied  God  to  be  the  Creator  of  the 

world;  and  because  they  saw  so  much  evil  in  the 

i  Rom.  vhi.  &. 

2P2         DIR£C*t-(yiIS   TO    titZ  CNCONVE»Tfil>. 

World,  they  said  it  wasmadeb^  devils  or  eVJlMgelSj 
(who  indeed  made  the  sin,  but  hot  the'WSrtd.')  So 
dealt  the  Jews  by  the  Sdn,  arid  the  setohd  article  of 
our  'feith.  The  sacrifice  of  bulls  aiid  giMfe,  ^%<6:  Stich 
b^siS,  Was  all  the  sacrifice  for  sin  thEft'tHejr'tieKfeV^li 
in.  And  thus  deal  the  multitodie  of  the  'tf%6fdty  by 
the  Spirit.  Ifldeed  they  kncTw  ntftthetiiSielv^SfSuffi* 
cietitly't&'knbw  the  need  ahd  Worth  of'saMtfflcytitfe^ 
They  are  too  whde  to  value  the  skill  'dnd  'ckfe  'df 
Christ  or  the  Holy  Ghost,  The  inseiiisfbitey  bf 
spiritual  death  atid  misery,  !^fld  thinking' too  lightly 
of  original  corruption,  and  tOb  well  of  our'd&praved 
nature,  is  both  the  cause  of  iri^ny  of  the  Ireresifes  df 
the  learned,  and  of  the  common  cdiiteitipt  of  Christ, 
dUd  Ifhe  Spirit,  and  recovering  grace,  in  iall  the  unre- 
generate.  For  it  is  not  possible  that  men  should  have 
any  deeper  sen^e  of  the  need  or  worth  of  the'iretfiedy, 
than  they  have  of  the  greatness  tof  their  sin  and'-misery. 

O  sirs,  did  we  not  -come  ^upOn  this  grddt  disadvan- 
lageltoyou,  that  we  speak  to  ^ead  ineh,  that  have 
imdeed  a  natural  life,  which  doth  'btit  *tbk-e'  pleasure 
in  their  spiritual  death ;  how  cori'fiy:ently  ^ShttXlW  we 
eixpect  to  prevail  with  you  all !  B^t 'while  you  tbfnk 
lightly  of  yonrxitseasfe,  we  cte'ejtpect  no  better  but 
thatyoU'think  tsSigbtly  of  Cbristfiarid  holiness,  and 
all  the  means  that  t«nd  to  your  recovery  ;  aijd  fhi^nk 
df  the  new  man-,  as  the  poet's  fable  of  the*  Promethean 
race,  that  it^rOW^  out  of  the  earth  (ofyonrbwn  poor 
sorry  purposes  and  performances)  likeordinary^'atils ! 

Truly,  sirs,  I  have  led 'you  even  as  far  as  I  can  :; 
and  what  more  to  say  to  you,  or  what  more  to  do  for 
you,  to  ptocuTe  your tj^n version,  I  do  liol  know.  If 
it  had  been  in  my  poWer  to  have  shown  you  Iheaveti 
and  hell  itself,  that  you  might  ibefCer  have  known  the 
matters  that  we  speak  of,  I  think  I  should  have  done 


it.  But  God  will  not  have  men  live  by  sense  in  this 
life,  but  by  faith.  If  I  could  but  help  you  all  to 
such  a  knowledge  and  apprehension  of  these  invisible 
things,  as  the  worst  of  you  shall  have  as  soon  as  you 
are  dead,  then  I  should  make  but  little  doubt  of  your 
conversion  and  Saltation.  Sure  if  yo!u  had  but  such 
a  «ight,  the  force  of  it  Would  so  work  upon  you,  that 
you  tvould  all  cry  out  that  you  are  resolvesd  to  be  new 
creatures.  But  though  this  be  beyond  my  power, 
and  though  I  cannot  show  you  the  great  and  wonder- 
ful things  that  every  eye  must  shortly  see;  y^t  I 
come  not  to  you  without  a  glass  of  God's  own  making, 
and  in  that  glass  yoo^fday  see  thetn.  There;  if  you 
have  but  an  eye  of  faith,'  you  may  see  that  God- you 
have  so  long  offended,  and  that  now  so  earnestly  in- 
viteth  you  to  return:  there  you  may  see  that  crucified 
Christ,  that  hath  opened  you  a  way  for  repentance  by 
his  blood,  and  jpl^adeth  that  blood  with  you  for  the 
melting  of 'yout  impenitent  obstinate  hearts.  There 
you  may  see  the  odious  face  of  sin,  and  the  amiable 
fece  of  holiness,  which  is  the  image  of  God.  There 
you  may  see' both  heaven  and  hell,  although  they  are 
invisible,  and  may  know  what  will  be,  and  that  to  all 
eternity,  as  well  as  what  is. 

And  will  not  such  a  sight,  in  the  glass  of  God*s 
word,  serve  to  move  thee  presently  to  give  up  the 
trade  of  sinning,  'and  to  resolve,  before  thou  stir,  fot 
God?  I  am  now  come  to  the  end  of  this  part  of  my 
work.  If  the  i^eading  of  it  have  brought  thee  to  the 
end  of  thy  ungodly  careless  life,  it  will  be  happy  for 
thee,  and  I  shall  so  far  attain  the  end  of  my  labour. 
I  have  pOtpOfeely  put  this  direction  of  the  necessity 
of  resolution  in  the  last  place,  that  I  might  leave  upon 
tby-spirit  the  reasons  for  resolution  that  here  I  have 
laM  down.    And  now  I  beseech  thee,  reader,  who- 


ever  thou  art,  with  all  the  earnestness  that  I  am  able 
to  use  with   thee,  as  ever  thou  wauldest  escape  the 
fruits  of  all  thy  sin,  as  everthou  woaldest  see  the  face 
of  God  with  comfort,  and  have  him  thy  reconciled 
Father  in  Christ; — as  ever  thou   wouidest  have  a 
saving  part  in  Christ,  and  have  him  stand  thy  friend 
in  thy  extremities ;  as  ever  thou  wouidest  have  hope 
in  thy  death,  and  stand  on  the  right-hand,  and  be 
justified  at  judgment; — as  ever  thou  wouldedt  escape 
the  day  of  vengeance  prepared  for  the  unconverted, 
and  the  endless  misery  that  will  fall  upon  all  unsanc- 
tified  souls,  as  sure  as  the  heaven  is  over  thy  head' — 
see  that  thou  resolve  and  turn  to  God,  and  trifle  with 
him  no  more.    Away  with  tljy  old  transgressions; — 
away  with  thy  careless  worldly  life; — ?away  with  thy 
ungodly  company ;  and  set  thyself  presently  to  seek 
^fter  thy  salvation  with  all  thy  heart,  and  mind,  and 
might.     I  tell  thee  once  more,  that  heaven  and  hell 
are  not  matters  to  be  jested  with ;  nor  to  be  care- 
lessly thought  of,  or  spoken,  or  regarded.    The  God 
of  heaven    stands  over    thee  now  while   thou   art 
reading  all  these  words,  and  he  seeth  thy  heart, 
whether  thou  art  resolved  to  turn  or  not.     Shall  he 
see  thee  read  such  urgent  reasons,  and  yet  wilt  thou 
not  resolve  r     Shall  he  see  thee  read  these  earnest 
requests,   and  yet   not  resolve?      What!  not  come 
home  to  thy  God,  to  thy  Father,  to  thy  Saviour,  to 
thyself,  after  so  long  and  wilful  sinning?    What!  not 
to  accept  of  mercy,  now  it  is  even  thrust  into  thy 
hands  ;  when  thou  hast  neglected  and  abused  mercy 
so  long  ?     O  let  not  the  just  and  jealous  God  stand 
over  thee,  and  see  thee  guilty  of  such  wickedness. 
If  thou  be  a  Christian,  show  thyself  a  Christian,  and 
use.  thy  belief,  and  come  to  God.     If  thou  be  a  man, 
show  thyself  a  man,  and  use  thy  reason,  apd  come 


tWAy  to  God.  I  beseech  thee  read  over  and  over 
again  the  reasons  that  I  have  here  offered  thee,  and 
judge  whether  a  reasonable  man  should  resist  them, 
and  delay  an  hour  to  come  unto  God.  I  that  am 
now  writing  these  lines  of  exhortation  to  theej  must 
shortly  meet  thee  at  the  bar  of  Christ.  I  do  now 
adjure  thee,  and  charge  thee  in  the  name  of  the  living 
God,  that  thou  do  not  thyself  and  me  that  wrong,  as 
to  make  me  lose  this  labour  with  thee,  and  that  thou 
put  me  not  to  come  in  as  a  witness  against  thee  to 
thy  confusion  and  cdndemnation.  Resolve  therefore 
presently  in  the  strength  of  Christ,  and  strike  an 
unchangeable  covenant  with  him.  Get  thee  to  thy 
knees,  and  bewail  with  tears  thy  former  life,  and 
deliver  up  thyself  wholly  now  to  Christ;  and  never 
break  this  covenant  more.    . 

If  thou  lay  by  the  book,  and  go  away  the  same, 
and  no  persuasion  will  do  thee  any  good,  but  unholy 
thou  wilt  still  be,  and  sensual,  and  worldly;  I  call 
thy  conscience  to  witness,  that  thou  -wast  warned  of 
the  evil  that  is  near  thee,  and  conscience  shall  obey 
this  call,  and  bear  me  witness  whether  thou  wilt  or 
not;  and  this  book,  which  thou  hast  read,  which  I 
intended  for  thy  conversion  and  salvation,  shall  be  a 
witness  against  thee:  though  age  or  fire  consume 
the  leaves  and  lines  of  it,  yet  God  and  conscience 
shall  bring  it  to  thy  memory,  and  thou  shalt  then  be 
the  more  confounded  to  think  what  reasons  and 
earnest  persuasions  thou  didst  reject,  in  so  plain,  <:o 
great,  and  necessary  a  case. 

But  if  the  Holy  Ghost  will  now  become  thy  tutor, 
and  at  once  both  put  this  book  into  thy  hand,  and  his 
heavenly  light  into  thy  understanding,  and  his  life 
into  thy  heart,  and  effectually  persuade  thee  to  resolve 
and  turn,  how  happy  wilt  thou  be  to  all  eternity! 

316         DIRECTIQUtSoTO    THE    UNCOltVr^R^^BD. 

Make  no  more  words  of  it;  but  answer  my  t&qn^^h 
as.  thoUi  wouldst  do  if  thou  werii  in  {^^Ufoijiiig  fire» 
and  I  entreated  thee  to  come  out.  Thou  bast  lojig 
enough  grieved  Christ  aad  his  Spirit,  a^nd.long  eQiovigh; 
grieved  thy  friends  and.  teachers  :  resolve  this  boun^ 
and  rejoice  then  thaii;  thou  bast  grieved;  and' ooitii? 
grieve  the  devil,  that  thou  hast  hitherto  rejoiced ;  ^^ 
hereafter,  grieve  the  wicked,  and  thy  own  deceitful 
flesb,  whose  sinful  desires  thou  bast  hitherto  fol- 
lowed :  and  if  thou  also  gcieye  thyself  ^  little  Mihihs^ 
by  that  moderate  sorrow  that  thy  sin  hath  made 
necessary  for  tbiee,  it  wiU  be  but  a  preparative,  to  thy 
eadless  joys ;  aad  the  day>  is  promised^  and,  coming 
apace,  when.  Satan  that  thou  turnest  from  sitall  trau? 
ble  thee  no  more,  and  God  that  thou  tt,imest  to  shall 
wipe  away  ail  tears  from  thy  eyes.  Auidi  if  the 
reading  of  this  book  may  be  but  a  means  of  so 
blessed  an  end,  as  God  shall  hav«  the  glory,  so 
wlien  Christ  eometh  to  be  glorified  in  his  saints, 
and  admired  in  all  tbem  that  do  believe,  (S'.Tfaes.  i. 
10.)  both  thou  and  I  shall  then  partake  bf  tke  com- 
muBiication  of  his  glory ;  if  so  be  that  I  be  sincere 
in  writing,  and  thou  and  I  sincere  in  obeying  the 
doctrine  of  this  book.    Amen. 

S.  Jackson,  Pri((ter, 
RoHSEY,  Hants. 




:»  %xtatist 







I  think  it  of  great  service  to  the  souls  of  men,  to  call  them  to  the  notice  and  use  of  such  a 
Treatise  as  thiij  and  to  hring  such  old  and  excellent  writingsout  of  oblivion  and  the  dust. 
Baxter's  Pref.  to  Scudder's  Christian's  Diuly  Walk. 

9  jBefo  QEoition. 




18 16. 

Testimonies  by  E^minent  Men. 

Baxter  is  my  particular  favourite.  It  is  impossible  to  tell  you 
how  much  I  am  charmed  with  the  devotion,  good  sense,  and  pathos, 
which  is  every-where  to  be  found  in  him,  I  cannot  forbear  looking 
upon  him  as  one  of  the  greatest  orators,  both  with  regard  to  copious- 
ness, acuteness,  and  energy,  thaf  our  nation,  hath  produced :  and 
if  he  hath  described,  as  I  believe,  the  temper  of  his  own  heart,  he 
appears  to  have  been  so  far  superior  to  the  generality  of  those 
whom  we  charitably  hope  to  be  good  men,  that  one  would  imagine 
God  raised  him  up  to  disgrace  and  condemn  his  brethren ;  to 
show  what  a  Christian  is,  and  how  few  in  the  world  deserve  the 
character.  Dr.  Doddbidge. 

Mr.  Baxter  cultivated  every  subject  he  handled;  and  if  he  had 
lived  in  the  primitive  times,  he  had  been  one  of  the  fathers  of  the 
ehureh.    It  was  enough  for  one  age-  to  produce  such  a  person. 

Bishop  Wilkins, 

Baxter  was  a  man  of  great  piety;  had  a  very  moving  and 
pathetic  way  of  writing;  and  was,  his  whole  life  long,  a  man  of 
great  zeal,  and  much  simpliciity.  Bishop  Burnet. 

As  a  useful  writer,  as  well  as  a  successful  controversialist,  Mr. 
Baxter  has  deservedly  ranked  in  the  highest  order  of  Divines  of 
the  seventeenth  century.  His  works  have  done  more  to  improve 
the  understanding,  an4  mend  the  hearts  of  his  countrymen,  than 
those  of  any  other  writer  of  his  age..  While  the  English  language 
remains,  and  scriptural  Christianity  and  piiety  to  God  are  regarded, 
his  works  will  not  cease  to  be  read  and  prized  by  the  wise  and 
pious  of  every  denomination,  APAU  Clarke, 

By  what  1  have  read  of  him,  he  appears  to  me  to  have  been  one 
of  the  greatest  men  of  his  age  ;■  and  perhaps  in  fejvour,  spirituality, 
and  success,  more  than  equal,  both  as  a  Minister  and  a  Christian, 
to  some  twenty  taken  together,  of  those  who  affect  to  undervalue 
him  in  the  present  day,  Joh;n  Nbwton. 

He  was  the  fittest  man  in  the  age  for  a  casuist,  because  he  feared 
no  man's  displeasure,  nor  hoped  for  any  man's  preferment. 

The  Honourable  Robert:  Boyle. 

His  books  of  practical  Divinity  have  been  effectual  for  moie 
numerous  conversions  of  sinners  to  God,  than  any  printed  in  our 
time,  •  Dr.  Bates. 






My  dear  Friq^ds, 

THERE  are  obvious  reasons  for  prefixing  your 
names  to  this  Book.  It  contains  the  substance  of  what 
was  first  preached  in  your  parish-church,  and  wasjirst 
published  Jrom  the  press  with  a  dedication  to  your 
worthy  ancestors.  Your  trade  and  mantifactures  can 
never  render  your  town  so  famous,  as  the  name  and 
wriiings  of  Mr.  Baxter  have  already  made  it,  both 
in  this  island,  and  in  many  remote  parts  of  the  Pro- 
testant world.  His  intimate  and  important  relation  to 
Kidderminster,  and  the  years  he  abode  in  it,  afforded 
him  the  most  delightful  reflection  as  long  as  he  lived. 

Long  experience  has  enabled  me  to  testify  Jbr  you, 
that  notwithstanding  your  share  in  those  common  dis-^ 
Unctions  which  so  tmhappily  divide  fellow  Protestants, 
you  possess  a  most  unusual  degree  of  candour  and 
fnendship^  for  each  other.  Thus  you  show,  that  Kid- 
derminster has  not  totally  lost  the  amiable  spirit  which 
it  imbibed  more  than  a  century  ago. 

There  are  no  excellencies,  personal  <f  relative,  no 
species  of  domestic  or  public  happiness,  no  beauties 
of  civil  or  religious  life,  but  what  xeill  be  naturally 
promoted  by  a  care  to  secure  to  ourselves  an  interest  in 
the  rest  which  remajneth  to  the  people  of  God.  They 
are  the  people  for  whom  abne  that  re^t  is  designed, 


both  by  the  promises  of  God,  and  by  the  purchase  of 
the  Son  of  God. ,  A  care  to  secure  thatre^t  to  ourselves, 
is  the  one  thing  needfol.  Butneithe^  this  people,  nor 
this  care,  you  well  know f.  are  the  peculiarities  of  any 
party.  If  the  inhabitants  of  Kidder^in^er  formerly 
excelled  in  this  care ^  you  must  allow  that  if  was  theif 
greatest  glory.  And  this,  more  than  any  improve- 
ments in  trade,  or  increasing  elegancies  of  life',  will  he 
the  greatest  glory  of  their  successors. 

To  excite  this  care,  is  the  noblest  design  of  all  reli- 
gious instruction.  This,  and  nothing  else,  animates 
the  following  pttges.  Here,  God  and^  Christ,  heaven 
and  holiness,  invite  your  mast  attentiveand  affectionate 
regards.  Here,  you  may  peruse  what  multitudes  in 
the  same  town  have  heard  and  read  before  you  to  their 
everlasting  joy,  ^^7/  your  blessings  prevail  above  the 
blessings  of  your  pragenitors.  Here, 'by  the  help  of 
divine  grace,  you  niay  learn  the  heavenly  art  ofwalk^ 
ing  with  God  below j  of  Jiving'  in  a  constant  view  and 
foretaste  of  the  glories  of  the  New  Jfirmtalem,  and  of 
making  all  you  say  or  do,  suffer  or  enjoy,  subservient 
to  the  brightening  your  immortal  crown. -^Nothing 
has  the  Compiler  of  this  Abridgment  to  wish  tike  such 
consequences  as  these;  even,  to  see  the  same  holy  and 
heavenly  conversation  in  himself,  and  in  those  around 
him,  now,  as  Mr.  Baxter  saw  in  his  day.  This  would 
be  the  greatest  joy,  and  ^hall  be  the  constant  and 
fervent  prayer  of 

Vour  affectionate  Friend, 

And  obedient  Servant, 

B.  FAf^'CETT 

Kiddeiminster,       ^ 
Jan.  L,  1759. 



BY    THE 


Mr.  felCHAfeD  BAXTER,  "*the  author  of  thfe  Saints' 
"Rest,  90  weirfen'own'  to  the  world  by  this,  and  many  other 
excellent  and  aseful  writings,  was  a  learned,  laborious,  and 
enoiinently  holy 'divine  of  the  seventeenth  century.  He  was 
Tibrii  near  ShreWstjury  in  1615,  and  ilied  at  London  in  1691. 
His, ministry,  itt  an  unsettled  state,  was  for  many  years 
erd ployed  with  great  and  exteiisive  success,  both  in  London, 
aind  iii  IseVeral  parts  of  the  country:  but  he  was  no  where 
fixed  Sd  long,  brWiih  such  entire' satisfaction' to  hitnself, 
and  appafehit  advantage  to  others;  as  at  Kidderminster.  His 
ab6(ie  there 'was  indeed'' i'ntefrupted,'p(artly  by  his  bad 
lleaith',  but  chiefly -^by  the  balaniities  of  al  civil  war,  yet  in 
the  whole  it  amounfed  to  sixteen  y«ars;  nor  was  it  by  any 
means  the  result  of'hisoWh  cbotee/or  thatof  the  inhabitants 
of  Kiddermirister;'''that  he  never  siettled  there  again,  after 
his  going  from  thence  in  1600.  Before  his  coming  thither, 
the  place  was  overrun  with  ignoliahcle  abd  profaneness ;  but, 
by  the  divineblWsingof  his  wise  arid  faithful  cultivation,  the 
fruits  of  righteousness  sprung  up  in  rich  abundance.  He 
at  first  found  but  a  single  instance  or  two  of  daily  family 
prayer  in  a  whole  street;  and  at  his  going :away,  but  one 


family  or  two  could  be  found  in  some  streets  that  continued 
to  neglect  it.  And  on  Lord's  days,  instead  of  the  open 
profanatioh  to  which  they  bad  been  so  long  accustomed,  a 
person,  in  passing  through  the  town,  in  the  intervals  of 
public  worship,  might  overhear  hundreds  of  families  en- 
gaged in  singing  psalms,  reading  the  sci'iptures  and  other 
good  books,  or  such  ser;nons  as  they  had  wrote  doWn,  while 
they  heard  them  from  the*  pulpit.  His  care  of  the  souls 
comnjittefl  to  his  charge,,  and  the  success  of  his  labours 
anvoiig  them,  Were  traiyrefiaarkkblfeffofthe'iidmbei-^f  his 
stated  communicants  rose  to  six  hundred,  of  whom  he  him- 
self declared,  there  v^efe  "not"tweIve  concerning  whose 
sincere  piety  he  had  not  reason  to  entertain  good  hopes. 
Blessed  heGpd,  the  religious  spirit  which j(j??isthjil&4iap^iiy 
introduced,  is  yet  to  be  traced  in^  the  tpvyn  ^apd  ji^i^hbour- 
hood  in  some  degree :;  (O  ihat,it  wer^  in  a,^r^at!gr,!|  and  in 
proportion  as  that  spirit  Remains,  the ,  j^We  ^CjMr.  Bjjxter 
Gontinues  in  the<mgst  honourable  and  afi[fc|:;9^9te.l-^,a>e^'- 

As  a  writer,  he  has  the  approbation  of  sp.pq';^f  hvsgjt^tjest 
eotemporayies,  who  best  knew  him^,  and  were  ijnder  no  temp- 
tations to  be  partial  in  his  fa.v.o(ir.rTT-Pjr.,Bai;ro,w said,  "His 
"  practical  ryirritings  were.neyf^rjr»f^nd€d,iand  his  controversial 
"  ones  seldom  confuted."'77W'ithj  a, jiffCW,  to  his.  casuistical 
writings.^  the  Honbur^Jitej.^berit  ^pyJp  declared, >r"  He 
"  was  the  fittest .naan  of  Jh,e  :age  ,for.'A,c^?jji,ist,^  because  hp 
'f  feared  no  man's  displeasure,  nor  hpp^^.for  any  man's 
"  preferment."— Bi&lijqp  Wi,lk^ns,  observed  of  him,  "that 
"  he  had  cultivated,  eyeiy  surbjectjl^ehad:han4Ied;  that  if 
"  he  bad  lived  inthe  primitive  /simes,  he,would  h^ve  been 
"  one  of  the  fathers  of  th§  church ;  and  .that  it  was  enough 
"  for  one  age  to  prodjuce  such  a,  person  as  JVJr.  Baxten"-^ 
Archbishop  Usher  ha4  such  high  thoughts  of  him,  ihat  by 
his  earhest  impof-tHaitj?  he  put  hipju^oa  writing  j^ypial  pf 


his  practical  discourses,  particularly  that  celebrated  piece. 
Ma  Gall  to  the  Uncormerted Dr.  Manton,  as  he  freely  ex- 
pressed it,  «  thdughtMr.  Baxter  came  nearer  the  apostolical 
■writings  than  any  man  in  the  age."— And  it  is  both  as  a 
preaehef,  and  a  writer,  that  Dr.  Bates  considers  him,  when, 
in  his  funeral  sernion  for  him,  he  says,  "In  his  sermons 
"  there  was  a  rare  union  of  arguments  and  motives,  to  con- 
"  vince  the  mind,  and  gain  the  heart.  All  the  fountains  of 
"  reason  and  persuasion  were  open  to  bis  discerning  eye. 
"  There  was  no  resisting  the  force  of  his  discourses,  without 
"  denying  reason  and  divine  revelation.  He  had  a  marvel- 
"  lous  facility  and  copiousness  in  speaking.  There  was  a 
"  noble  negligence  in  his  style,  for  His  great  mind  codld 
"  not  stoop  to  the  affected  eloquence  of  words ;  he  despised 
"  flashy  oratory;  but  his  expressions  were  clear  and  power- 
"  ful,  so  convincing  the  understanding,  «o  entering  into 
"  the  soul,  so  engaging  the  affections,  that  those  were  as 
"  deaf  as  adders  who  were  not  cbarftied  by  so  wise  a 
"  eharmer.  He  was  animated  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  and 
"  breathed  celestial  fire,  to  inspire  heat  and  life  into  dead 
"  sinners,  and  to  melt  the  obdurate  in  their  frozen  tombs. 
"  His  books,  for  their  number,  (which  it  seems  was,  more 
"  than  one  hundred  and  twenty,)  and  variety  of  matter  in 
"  them,  make  a  library. — ^They  cotatain  a  treasure  of  con- 
"  trtoversial,  casuistical,  and  practical  divinity. — His  books 
"  of  practical  divinity  have  been  effectual  for  more  nume- 
"  rous  conversions  pf  sinners  to.  God,  than  any  printed  4n 
"  our  time;  and  while  the  church  remains  on  earth,  will  be 
"  of  continual  efficacy  to  recover  lost  souls.-  There  is  a 
"  vigorous  pulse  in  them,  that  keeps  the  reader  awake 
"  and  attentive." — To  these  testimonies  may  not  be  im- 
properly added  that  of  the  editors  of  )xi9  pra,ctical  woTlts  m 
.  foiir  folio  volunies :  in  tbe  preface  to  which  theysay,  "  Per- 
"  haps  there  are  no  writings  ^mong  us  that  have  more  of  a 


X  Tire   COMPItK&S  fS.EVJk.CE,. 

"  true  Christian  spirit,  a  greater  mixture  of  judgment  %nd 
"  affecttpn,  or  a  greater  teodeocytofievive  pure  and  uadefije4 
*'  religion;  that  have  been  more  esteemed  abroad^  o^  leoire 
♦•  blessed  at  home,  for  the  awakening  the  secure,  jpstrupting 
"  the  ignorant,  coniirming  the  wavering,  comforting  th« 
*'  dejected,  recovering  the  profaioe,  or  improving  such  a> 
*f  are  truly  serious,  thaji  the  practical  wprke  of  this  author." 
—Such  were  the  apprehenwong  of  eminent  perisons,  who 
were  well  acquainted  with  Mr.  Baxter  and  his  wf  itings.  It 
is  therefore  tite  less  remarkable  that  Mr.  Addison,  from 
an  accidental  and  a,  very  imperjE^t  acquaintance,  but  wit>h 
bis  usual  pleasantness  and  candour,  should  mention  the 
following  incident:  «'  I  anoe  met  with  a  page  of  Mr.  Baxter. 
♦'  Upon  the  perusual  of  it,  I  conceived  sojgood  aaid^  of 
''  the  a.uthQr'8  piety,  that  I  bought  the  whole  b<;)tok." 

Whatever  cktbe;  -causes  might  comcui-,  it  mu^t  ehiefly  be 
scribed  to  Mf.  Baxter's  distinguished  reputation  as  a 
preather,  and,a  writer,  that  presently  after  the  RestOiration 
he  was  appoint^  one  of  the  cbaplaiins  in  ordinafy  to  j^ing 
Charles  II.  and  pr&aohed  once  before  him  in  thj^t  .capacity; 
as  also  that  be  had  an  offer  m«de  him  by  the  hofd  Cban> 
cellor  Chmsdaa,  of  tbe  bishopripk  of  Hereford,  which,  in  a 
jreapectEul  letter  tp  -his  Lordsihip,  be  saw  proper  to  decline. 

The  Saidts'  Rest  is  deservedly  esteemed  one  of  the  most 
valuable  parts  of  his  praqtical  works.  He  wrote  it  wihen 
be  was  far  from  boioe,  without  .any  book  to  consult  bt|t  bis 
Bible,  and  in  su>cb  an  lill  state  of  health,  %s  to  be  incontifiiual 
expectation  of  death  for.  many  ^fluthis:  and  ,th&refoi«i 
merely  for  his  own  use,  be  fixed  bis  thoughts  on  this  ^ea.t 
venly  siubject,  '*  which  (says  he)  bath  more  benefited  me 
tban  all  the  studies  of  my  life"  At  this  tim^  ins  could  be 
little  more  than  thirty  y«ars  old,  He  afterwjirde  preached 
over  the  subject  io  his  weekly  leettire  at  Kiddeiwnster, . 
fijid  in  J656  be  publisbfd  it;  and  iad^ed  it  appeajis  tp  have 


been  the  first  that  ever  be  published  of  all  his  practical 
writings.  Of  this  bgok  Dr.  Bates  says,  "It  was  written  by 
"  biili  when  languishing  In  the  suspense  of  life,  and  death, 
"  but  has  the  signati^res  of  his  holy  vigorous  mind.  To 
"  ailure  our  deiire»,  he  unvails  the  sanctuary  above,  and 
"  discovers)  the  glories  and  joys  of  the  blessed  ill  the  divine 
"  presence,  by  a  light  so  strong  and  liviely,  that  all  the 
*'  glittering  vanities  of  this  world  vanish  in  that  comparison, 
'*  attd  a  sincere  believer  will  despise  them,  as  one  of  mature 
"  age  does  the  toys  and  baubles  of  children.  To  excite  our 
*'  fears,  he  removes  the  screen,  and  makes  the  everlasting 
"  fire  of  hell  so  visible,  and  represents  the  tormenting  pas- 
"  sions  of  the  damned  in  those  dreadful  colours,  that,  if 
"  duly  considered,  would  check  and  controul  the  unbridled 
"  Ifcentious  appetites  of  the  most  sensual  wretphes» 

Heavenly  rest  is  a  subject,  in  its  own  nature  so  univdi-sally 
important  and  interesting,  and  at  the  same  time  so  truly 
engaging  and  delightful,  as  sufficiently  accounts  for  the 
great  acceptance  which  this  book  has  met  with ;  and  partly 
also  for  the  uncommon  blessing  which  has  attended  Mr» 
Baxter's  manner  of  treating  the  subject,  both  from  the 
pulpit  and  the  presSi  For  where  are  the  operations  of 
divine  grace  more  reasonably  to  be  expected,  or  where  have 
they  in  fact  been  more  frequently  discerned,  than  in  con- 
currence with  the  best  adapted  means?  And  should  it 
appear,  that  persons  of  distinguishing  judgment  and  piety, 
have  expressly  ascribed  their  first  religious  impressions  to 
the  hearing  or  reading  the  important  sentiments  contained 
in  this  book ;  or,  after  a  long  series  of  years,  have  found  it, 
both  the  counterpart  and  the  improvement  of  their  own 
divine  life,  wilt  not  this  be  thought  a  considerable  recom- 
mendation of  the  book  itself? 

Among  the  instances  of  persons  that  dated  their  true 
conversion  from  hearing  the  sermons  on  the  Saints'  Rest, 


^hen  Mr.  Baxter  first  preached -them,,  was  :  the;  ULev; 
TbQmas  Doolittle,  M.A.  who  was  a  native  of  Kiddetminsster, 
and  at  that  time  a  scholar,  about  seventeen  years  old;  whom 
Mr.  Baxter  himself  afterwards,  sent  to  Pembroke-hall,  in 
Caml^ridge,  where  he  togtit.  his  degrpq.  ;  Befpre  his  going- 
to  the  university,  he  was  upon  trial  as  an  attorney's  clerky 
and  under  that  character,  being  ordeired  by  his  master  to 
write  something  on  a  ^Lord's  da^^ :  he  obeyed  with  great 
teluctance,  and  the,next4ay  returned  home,  >v.ith  an  earnest 
desire  that  he  might  not  apply  himself  to  anything,  as  the 
employment  of  life,, but  ^seryipgChiri^t  in  the  ministry  of 
the  gospel.  His  praise  is  yet  in  the  churches,  for  his  pious 
and  useful  labours,  as  a  minister,, a  tiitor,  and  a  vvriter. 

In  the  life  of  the  R^v.  M?-.  John  Janeway,  Fellov?  of  King's 
College,  Cambridge*  who  died  in  1657,  we  are  to!^,- that 
his  conversion  was,  in  a  gi;eat  measure,  occasioned  by  his 
reading  several  parts  of  the  Saints'  Rest.  And  in  a  letter 
which  he  afterwards'  wrote  to  a  near  relative,  speaking  with 
a  more  immediate  reference;  to  that  part  of,the  book  which 
treats  of  heavenly  contemplation,  he  says,  "There  is  a  duty, 
"  which,'  if  it  were  exercised,  would ,  dis;pel ,  all  cause  .of 
"melancholy;  I  mean,  heavenly,  meditation,,  and  contempla- 
f'  tion  of  the,  things  which,  true  christian  religipn  tends  tp. 
"  If  we  did  but  walk  closely  with  God  one /hour  in  a  day 
"  in;  this  (|uty,  oh,  what  influence  would  it  have  upon  the 
"  whole  day  besides;  and,  duly  performed,  upon  the  whole 
"life!  This  duty,  with  its  usefulneps,  manner,  and  directions, 
"  I  knew,  in  some  measure  before,  but  had  it  more  pressed 
"  upon  me  by  Mr.  Baxter's  Samfo'  Everlasting  Rest,  [a  book] 
"  that  can  sc.arce  be  overvalued,  for  which  I  have  cause  for 
"  ever  to  bless  God." — This  excellent  yojjang  minister's  life 
is  worth  reading,  were  it  only  to  see  hPw  delightfully  he 
was  engaged,  in  heavenly  contemplation,  according  to  the 
directions  in  the  Saints'  Rest.  ,     - 

THE  COMPltEtt'ft  FB.ETKCS.  xUi 

It  was  the  example  of  heavenly  contemplation,  at  the 
close  of  this  book,  which  the  Rev.  Mr.  Joseph  Alleine,  of 
Taunton,  so  frequently  quoted  in  conversation  with  this 
solemn  introduction,  "Most  divinely  says  that  man  of  God, 
«  holy  Mr.  Baxter." 

Dr.  Bates,  in  his  dedication  of  his  funeral  sermon  for.MrV 
Baxter  to  Sir  Henry  Ashurst,  Bart. .  tells  that  religioija 
gentleman,  and  most  distinguished . friend  and  executor  of 
Mr.  Baxter,  "  He  was  most  worthy,  of  your  highest  esteem 
"  and  rove;fpr  the  first  impreu^iona  of  heaven  upon  your 
"  soul,  were  in  reading  his  invaluable  book  pf  the  Saints^ 
"  Everlasting  Rest " 

In  the  life  pf  the  Rev.  Mr.  Matthew  Henry,, we  have  the 
foUovving  character  given  us  of  Robert  Warburton,  Esq.  of 
Grange,  the  spn  of  the  eminently  religious  Judge  Warburton, 
and' the  father  of  Mr.  Matthew  Henry's  second  wife.  "  He 
".was  a  gentleman  that  greatly  affected  retirement  and 
"privacy,  especially  in,  the  letter  part  of  his  life;  the  Bible, 
"and  Mr.  Baxter's  Saints'  Everlasting  Rest,  used  to  Ue  dajly 
"before  him.  on  the  table  in  his  parlpur;  he  spent  tb& 
'«  greatest  part  of  his  time  in  reading  and  prayer." 

In  the  life  of  that  honourable  and  most  religious  knight. 
Sir  Nathaniel  Barnardiston,  we  are  told,  "  that  he  was 
"  constant  in  secret  prayer  and  reading  the  scriptures;  after- 
"  wards  he  read  other  choice.authors.:  but  not  loug  before. 
"  his  death  he  took  singular  delight  to  read  Mr.  Baxter's, 
"  Saints'  Everlasting  Rest,  and  Preparations  thereunto; 
"  which  was  esteemed  a  gracious  ev,ent,  of  Divine  Provi- 
"  dence,  sending  it  as  a  guide  to  bring  him  more  speedily 
"  and  directly  to  that  rest." 

Besides  persons  of  eminence,  to  whom  this  book  has 
been  precious  and  profitable,  we  have  an. instance,  in  the 
Rev.  Mr.  James  Janeway's  ToJ(en^  for  Children,  qi  a  little 
boy,  whose  piety  was  so  discovered  and  promoted  by  reading 

it^  as!  the  tndsi;  Je%htM  book  tjo  biiii  ii«s:£  the  Brblef,  that 
the  thoHghtB  of  everlasting  rest  seemed,  eten  while  he  conJ 
tinued  ini  bealttr,  to  swallow  up  all  other  thoughts;  and  he 
lived  m  a  cdn^tafit  preparation  for  it,  and  looked  mdre  Mfe^ 
one  that  was  ripe  for  glory,  than  an  inhabitant  of  this  lower 
world.  And  when  he  was  in  the  sickness  of  which  be  died, 
befoire  he  was  twelve  years  otd^  be  said,  "  I  pray  let  me 
"  have  Mr.  Baxter's  book,  that  I  may  read  a  little  more  of 
«  eternity,  before  I  go  into  it." 

Nor  is  it  less  observable,  that  Mr.  Baxter  himself,  taking 
notice,  itl  a  p^tper  found  in  bis  study  after  his  death,  what 
numbers  of  persons  were  converted  by  reiading  his  Call  to 
the  Unemverted,  acdovints  of  v/hich  he  had  received  by  letter 
etfeiy  week,  expressly  adds,  "  This  little  book  (the  Calf 
"  to  the  UneorWeH^d)  Ood  hath  blessed  vvrtb  unexpected 
*•  success,  beyond  all  that  I  have  Tfritten,  except  the  Saints 
«*  Rest."  With  an  evident  reference  to  this  book,  and  even 
ddriftg  the  life  of  the  author,  the  pious  Mr".  Flavel  afFfec- 
ttonateiy  ihyd,  "  Mr.  Baxter  is  almost  in  heaven;  Kvihg  in 
•*  the  daily  Views,  and  cheerful  expectdtibri  of  the  Saints* 
"  everlasting  rest  with  Oadf  aftd  is  left  for  a  little  while 
"  ttaiatig  asi  as  a  great  example  of  the  life  of  faith." — And 
Mr.  Baxter  himself  says,  in  his  preface  to  his  Treatise  of 
Self-tJfenial,  "  I  must  say,  that  of  all  the  books  which  I  have 
"  Written,  I  peruse  none  so  ofiea  for  the  use  of  my  own 
"  soul  in  its  daily"  "Wfirk,  as  my  Lifi  of  Faith,  this  of  Self- 
'*  Denial,  artd  the  last  part  of  the  Saints'  Rest."—Oa  the 
\vhole,  it  is  not  withodt  good  reason  that  Dr.  Calamy  re- 
ilaarks  concerning  it, "  This  is  a  book,  for  which  multitudes 
"  will  have  cause  to  bless  God  for  ever." 

This  excellent  and  useful  book  now  appears  in  the  form 
of  an  abridgttierlt;  and  therefore,  it  is  preSunied,  will  be  the 
more  likely,  under  a  divine  blessing,  to  diffuse  its  salutary 
lAfloence  among  those  that  woald  othervrise  have  vranted 


«p]»ortunii!jr  at  inclination  to  read  oTer.the  large  ■wdnme. 
.In  reduciag  it  to  thi$  small  size,  I  hav«  beeo  Tery  desirout 
to  do  justice  to  the  author,  and  at  the  same  time  promote 
ithe  pleasure  and  profit  of  the  serious  reader.  And,  I  hope, 
those  ends' are,  in  some  measure,  answered;  ^iefly  by  drop- 
ping things  <jf  a  d«gi«BBiTi^,  controTersial,  or  metaphysical 
nature;  together  with  pre&ees,  dedications,  and  various 
allusions  to  some  peculiar  circumstances  of  the  last  age ; 
and  particularly,  by  throwing  several  chapters  into  one, 
that  the  number  of  them  may  better  correspond  with  the 
size  of  the  volume;  and  sometimes  by  altering  the  form, 
but  not  the  sense,  of  a  period,  for  the  sake  of  brevity ;  and 
when  an  obsolete  phrase  occurred,  changing  it  for  one  more 
common  and  intelligible.  I  should  never  have  thought  of 
attempting  this  work,  if  it  had  not  been  suggested  and 
urged  by  ethers;  and  by  some  very  respectable  names,  of 
whose  learning,  judgment,  and  piety,  I  forbear  to  avail 
n^yself.  However  defective  this  performance  may  appear, 
the  labour  of  it  (if  it  may  be  called  a  labour)  has  been,  I 
bless  God,  one  of  the  most  delightful  labours  of  my  life. 

Certainly  the  thoughts  of  everlasting  rest  may  be  as  de- 
lightful to  souls  in  the  present  day,  as  they  have  ever  been 
to  those  of  past  generations.  I  am  sure  such  thoughts  are 
as  absolu|te1y  necessary  now ;  nor  are  temptations  to  neglect 
them,  either  fewer  or  weaker  now  than  formerly.^  The 
worth  of  everlasting  rest  is  not  felt,  because  it  is  not  con- 
sidered; it  is  forgotten,  because  a  thousand  trifles  are 
preferred  before  it.  But  were  the  divine  reasonings  of  this 
book  duly  attended  to,  (and  O  that  the  Spirit  and  grace  of 
a  Redeemer  may  make  them  so!)  then  an  age  of  vanity 
would  become  serious;  minds  enervated  by  sensuality, 
would  soon  resume  the  strength  of  reason,  and  display  the 
excellence  of  Christianity;  the  delusive  names  of  pleasure 
would  be  blotted  out,  by  the  glorious  reality  of  heavenly 


joy  lipon  earth;  every . station  and  relation  in  life  would  be 
filled  up  with  the  propriety  .auddignity, of,  seripus  religion; 
every  member  of  society  would  then  effeCtuallyjcpntribute 
.to  the  beauty  and  happiness  of  the  wbolei.and, every  soul 
would  be  ready , for  life  or  death,.for  one  world  or  anotheir, 
in  a  well-grounded  and  cheerful  persuasion  of  having  ;sec,^red 
a  title  to  that  rci*  lohich  remaineth  to:  the  people  of  God.  ^ 

B.  F.  [ 
Kidderminster,  Dec.  25, 1758. 



CHAP.  I.  - 

The  Introduction  to  the   Work,   with  some  account 
of  the  nature  of  the  Saints'  Rest. 

The  Apostle's  desigu  in  the  text 
The  Saints'  rest  defined 
What  this  rest  presupposes  .  i 
What  this  rest  contains 

1.  A  ceasing  from  means  of  grdce 

2.  A  perfect  freedom  from  all  evils , 

3.  The  saints'  personal  perfection  in  body  and  soul 

4.  The  nearest  enjoyment  of  God  the  chief  good  . 

5.  All  the  powers  of  the  body  active  in  this  enjoyment 
.   And  all  the  powers  of  the  soul ;  as.  Knowledge 

Memory,— Love, — and  Joy     .... 









CHAP.  H. 

The  great  Preparatives  to  the  Saints'  Rest. 

The  happiness  of  having  a  way  into  paradise  open 

1.  The  glorious  appearmg  of  Christ  openis  the  way 

2.  The  general  Resurrection 

3.  The  last  Judgment  .         ... 


The  Excellencies  of  the  Saints'  Rest. 

1 .  It  is  the  purchased  possession 

2,  It  is  a  free  gift 




3.'  It  is  peculiar  to  saints 39 

4.  It  is  an  association  with  Saints  and  Angels        .         ,         .    ib. 

5.  It  derives  its  joys  immediately  from  God  himself      .         .     41 

6.  It  will  be  seasonable 43 

7.  It  will  be  suitable 44 

8".  It  will  be  perfect,  without  sin  or  siiifering         .         .         .45 
9,  It  will  be  everlasting        .         .         .       ,  ,         .         .         .53 


TTie  Character  of  the  Persons  for  whom  this  Rest  is 

'Tis  wonderful  it  should  be  designed  for  mortals   .         .         .56 
1.  The  peopl«  of  God',  who  shaM  enjoy  it,  aire  chosen  from 

eternity  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .57 


2.  They  are  givien  to  Christ         .... 

3.  They  are  born  again 

4.  They  are  deeply  convinced  of  the  evil  of  sin 

Their  misery  by  sio,  the  vanity  of  the  creature 

And  the  all-sufiiciency  of  Christ 
5'.  Their  ^ill  is  proportionably  changed 
6,-  They  engage  in  covenant;  with  Gnrist 
7.  They  persevere  in  their  engagements 
The  reader  is  invited  to  self-examination 
That  the  people  of  God  shall  enjoy  this  rest 

Only  them,  is  further  proved  by  scripture 

And  that  tbey  shall  not  enjoy  it  till  they  come  to 
another  world .71 

Where  their  souls  shall  enjoy  it  while  separated  from 
their  bodies  . .76 

CHAP.  V. 
The  misery  (ffti^se  that  lose  the  Saints'  Rest. 

The  reader,  if  unregenerate,'  urged  to  consider  this  loss  .    78 

1.  They  lose  the' personal  perfections  of  the  Saints         .         .     80 

2.  God  himself 81_ 

3.  All  delightful  aifectious  towards  God       .         .         .         .83 

4.  The  blessed  society  o,f  angels  and  glorified  spirits      .         .    ib. 
Their  loss  will  be  greatly  aggravated  by  having 

1.  Their  understanding  cleitred  ',  ,        :        .         .         .         .85 

2.  Their  consciences  brought  to  a  true  and  close  application      ib. 

3.  Their  affections  morelively     .         .         .         .         ,         .     h6 

4.  Their  memories  strengthsned 87 



The  misery  of  those,  mfto,  besides  losing  the  Saints' 
Rest,  lose  the  enjoyments  of  time,  and  sifffer  the 
torments  of  Hell. 


The  enjoyments  of  time,  which  the  damned  lose   .         .        .96 

1.  Their  preanmptaous  belief  of  their  interest  in  God  and 

Christ ib. 

2.  AH  their  ^hopes 97 

3.  All  their  peace  of  conscience  99 

4.  All  their  carnal  niirth 100 

5.  All  their  Sensual  delights 101 

The  torments  of  hell  which  the  damned  suffer       .         .         .102 

1.  The  principal  Author  of  them  is  God  himself  .         .        .    ib. 

2.  The  place  or  state  of  torment 103 

3.  These  tortnents  are  the  effects  of  divine  vengeance    .        .  104 

4.  God  will  take  pleasure  in  executing  them  .         .         .    ib. 

5.  God's  executioners  are  Satan' and  sinners  themselves  ,        .  105 

6.  These  torments  will  be  universal       .        .         •         .        .    ib. 

7.  Without  any  mitigation   .' IO6 

8.  And  eternal 107 

The  sinner  convinced  of  his  folly  in  venturing  on  hell    .        .  108 
And  entreated  to  fly  for  safety  to  Christ        .        .        .        .112 

CHAP.  vn. 

7%e  necessity  of  diligently  seeMng  the  Saints^  Rest. 

This  rest  is  surprisingly  neglected  .         .         .         .        :  114 

£y  the  worldly  miiided      .         .....    ib. 

The  profane  multitude 115 

Formal  professors  .  .  .  ■;  .  .  .117 
And  by  the  godly  themselves  .  .  .  .  .118 
Whether  magistrates,  ministers  .  .  .  .  .119 
Or  people .         .       '. 121 

The  author  mourns  the  neglect 122 

And  excites  the  reader  to  diligence  by  many  considera- 
tions      .         .         .         ...         .         .         .  1 23 

Awakening  questions  proposed  to  the  ungodly       .        .        .134 
And  also  to  the  godly .137 

CHAP.  vm. 

Horn  to  discern  our  title  to  the  Saints'  Rest. 

Men**  folly  in  not  inquiring  after  a  title  to  it  ,         .         .  138 

Their  cause  for  terror  while  destitute  of  it    ,        .        .        .140 




Self-exainination  is  urged 142 

Y.  From  the  possibility  of  arriving  at  certainty       .         ,         .  1 43 
3,  FroHJ  the  hinderances  to  self-examination  by  Satan  .        .    ib, 

B^  wicked  men 144 

By  our  own  hearts     .......  145 

Nor  does  self-examination  soon  bring  assurance  .         .  147 
Nor  do  all  true  Christians  attain  to  it  .         .         .    ib-. 

3.  From  considering  how  easy,  common,  and  dangerous  it  is 
to  be  mistaken;  that,  trying  is  safer  than  neglect; 
that  God  will  try  usspon,  and  to  try  ourselves  will 
be  profitable  .         .         .         .         .         .         .  l5l 

Directions  are  given  how  to  try. .  .....   155 

Marks  for  trial ;  as,  Do  we  make  God  our  chief  good   ,         .157 
Do  we  heartily  accept  of  Christ  for  our  Lord  and 

Saviour  . 159 

The  great  importance  of  these  two  marks  .        .        .    ib. 


The  duty  of  the  people  of  God  to  excite  others  to  seek 
this  rest. 

This  duty  is.lamentably  neglected        ,         ,         .         .         .163 

1.  It  consists  in  pitying  the  misery  of  men's  souls  .         .164 

2.  In  giving  religious  instruction  ......    ib. 

3.  In  promoting  their  profit  by  public  ordinances  .         .171 
\^hy  this  duty  is  so  much  neglected     .         ,         .         .         .  172 

Objection  against  it  answered 175 

The  discharge  of  it  urged ;  especially  .         .        .         •     ,    •  ^76 

On  men  of  knowledge,  learning,  and  utterance  .  '  .  181 
On  such  as  are  acquainted  with  sinners  .  ,  .  .  ib. 
On  physicians  that  attend  dying  men  .         .         .    ib. 

On  the  wealthy  and  powerful 182 

Op  niinisters,  and  those  that  have  children  or  servants     ib. 

CHAP.  X. 

7%e  Saints'  Rest  is  not  to  he  expected  on  earth. 

The  sin  and  folly  of  expecting  rest  here,  appears 
By  the  reasonableness  of  present  afflictions   . 

1.  They  are  the  way  to  rest     .     .         r 

2.  They  keep  us  from  mistaking  it 

3.  And  from  losing  our  way  to  it  .  . 

4.  They  quicken  our  pace  towards  it    . 

5.  They  chiefly  Incommode  our  flesh  ; 

6.  And  under  them  are  often  the  best  foretastes  pf  rest, 

.  189 

.  190 

.  ib. 

.  ib. 

.  191 

.  192 

.  ib. 

.  19? 



?y,3?-^  ""'■^^^""^^^eness  of  resting  ia  present  comforts  .        .  195 
i.    Tis  idolatry   .         . ib. 

2.  It  contradicts  God's  end  in  giving  them    •         .         .         .    ib. 

3.  'Tis  the  way  to  have  them  refused,  withdrawn,  or  imbittered  196 

4.  T;o  be  suffered  to. do  this,  is  the  greatest  curse  .         .         .197 

5.  'Tis  seeking  rest,  where  it  is  not ib. 

6.  The  creatures,  without  God,  would  aggravate  our  misery     200 

7.  And  all  this  is  confirmed  by  experience    ,         .         .         .    ib. 
Also  by  the  unreasonableness  of  our  unwillingness  to  die  and 

possess  the  saints' rest 203 


The  importance  of  leading  a  heavenly  life  upon 

'Tis  reasonable  to  delight  in  thinking  of  heaven     .        .  .214 

Christians  exhorted  to  it,  by  considering        .        .        .  .    ib. 

1.  It  will  evidence  their  sincere  piety 2l6 

2.  'Tis  the  highest  excellence  of  the  Christian  temper.  .  217 

3.  It  leads  to  the  most  comfortable  life        .         .         .  ,218 

4.  'Tis  the  best  preservative  from  temptations      .        .  .  220 
6.  It  will  invigorate  their  graces  and  duties          .        .  .,  224 

6.  It  will  be  their  best  cordial  in  afflictions, ....  226 

7.  It  will  render  them  most  useful  to  others         •         .         .  228 

5.  It  will  honour  God 230 

9.  Withput  it  we  disobey  the  commands,  and  lose  the  most 

gracious  and  delightful  discoveries  of  the  word  of 

God  .        . 231 

,10.  Our  hearts  should  be  with  God,  as  his  is  so  much  on 

us;        .         .         . 233 

11.  And  in  heaven,  where  we  are  so  much  interested      .         .  234 

12.  Nothing  but  heaven  deserves  our  hearts  .        .         .  23S 


Directions  how  to  live  a  heavenly  life  upon  earth. 

I.'  Avoid  the  hinderances  to  such  a  life  ....  239 

1.  Live  not  in  any  known- sin  , ib. 

'2.  Be  not  earthly-minded  .....         .,241 

3.  Beware  of  the  company  of  the  ungodly  ....  242 

4.  Be  not  satisfied  with  mere  notions  in  religion  .        .  244 

5.  Take  heed  of  a  proud  spirit  .         .        .         .         .  245 

6.  And  a  slothful  spirit        .         .         .         .         .         .         .248 

7.  Nor  rest  in  tlie  preparatives  to  a  heavenly  life  ,        .251 


II.  Practise  the  duties  which  will  promote  -this  life 
1.  Esteem  heaven  the  only  treasure  and  happiness 
a.  Labour  to  know  your  interest  in  it  .         .         . 
S.  And  how  near  it  is  .        .        .        .        . 

4.  Frequently  and  seriously  talk  of  it 

5.  Strive  in  every  duty  to  raise  your  heart  nearer  to  it 


.  252 
.  ib. 
.  253 
.  255 
.  236 
.  257 

,  6.  To  the  same  purpose  improve  every  object  and  event  .  258 

7.  Be  much  in  the  angeilical  work  of  praise  .        .  •  26o 

a.  Maintain  believing  thoughts  ofGod's  infinite  love  .  .  26l 

9.  Observe  and  cherish  the  motions  of  God's  Spirit      .  ,262' 

10.  Take  due  care  of  your  bodily  health  .        •  .263 


The  nature  of  lieavenly  contemplation,  with  the  time, 
place,  and  temper,  JUtest  for  it. 

The  duty  itself  recommended  to  the  reader  .        .         .        ..  264 

This  duty  defined  and  illustrated 265 

The  time  fittest  for  this  dutyis— stated,— frequent        ,.        .  269 

And  seasonable,  every  day,  particularly  Lord's-day    .  273 

Especially  when  in  a  devout  temper,  or  an  afflicted  state  274 

Or  in  the  views  of  death             275 

The  place  fittest  for  this  duty  is  the  most  retired  .         .         .  276 

The  temper  fittest  for  this  duty^  is                 ....  277 

1 .  When  our  minds  are  most  clear  of  the  world              .        .  278 

2.  And  most  solemn  and  serious                    ....  279 


What  use  heavenly  Contemplaition  makes  of  Con- 
sideration, Affections,  Soliloquy,  and  Prayer. 

The  reader  is  invited  to  heavenly  contemplation     .        .         .281 
To  that  end  consideration  is  recommended  .         .         .  282 

Next,  the  exercise  of  the  affections,  particularly    .        .        ,    ib. 

1.  Love 286 

a.  Desire     .      : 289 

3.  Hope   , •        •        •  ^1 

4.  Courage  or  boldness  293 

5.'  And  joy  .         .         .         ....         t  395 

These  affections  need  not  always  be  exercised  in  this  order, 

nor  all  at  one  time  .         .         .         •         •  299 

Soliloquy  and  prayer  are  also  useful  in  heavenly  contemplation  300 



Heavenly  contemplation  assisted  by  sensible  Objects^ 
and  guarded  against  a  treacherous  Heart. 


The  difficulty  of  maintaining  a  lively  impression  of  heavenly 

things  303 

Sensible  objects  may  assist  heavenly  contemplation  .  .  304 
1.  If  we  draw  strong  suppositions  from  sense  .        .    ib. 

S.  If  objects  of  sense  and  faith  are  compared  .         .  306 

To  guard  heavenly  contemplation  against  a  treacherous  heart, 

1.  The  heart's  backwardness  to  this  duty  .         .         .  ^20 

2.  Its  trifling  in  it  .......  322 

3.  Its  wandering  from  it  323 

4.  And  its  too  abruptly  putting  an  end  to  it  .        .        .    ib. 


HeWvenly  Contemplation  exemplified,  and  the  whole 
Work  concluded. 

A  Christian  prepared  for  the  work,  may  contemplate  the  ex- 
cellency ,of  heavenly  rest  ....  326 
Its  nearness  dreadful  to  sinners,  joyful  to  saints  .        .     ib. 

Its  dear  purchase  328 

And  its  difference  from  earth ib. 

He  may  plead  with  his  heart         * 330 

May  banish  unbelief  ib. 

And  pity  a  careless  world  .        .         .         .         .        .33] 

He  may  view  heavenly  rest  as  the  object  of  love  .        .  332 

And  of  joy  .         .         .         .         .      i  .        .        .         .  336 

.He  may  lament  his  heart's  indisposition  to  such  joy  ,  .337 
He  may  view  heavenly- rest  as  the  object  of  desire  .  .343 
The  evil  consequences  of  neglecting  such  contemplation  .  ib: 
The  Author's  concluding  prayer 352 


Heb.  iv.  9. 

Tlieff.  remaineth  therefore  a  rest  to  the  People  of  God. 

CHAP.   i. 

The  Introduction  to  the  Work,  with  some  Account 
of  the  Nature  of  the  Saints^  Rest. 

§  1.  The  important  design  of  the  apostle  in  the  text,  to  which 
the  author  earnestly  bespeaks  the  attention  of  the  reader.  §  2. 
The  saints'  rest  defined,  with  m  general  plan  of  the  work. 
§  3.  Wjiat  this  rest  presupposes.  §  4.  The  author's  humble 
sense  of  his  inability  fully  to  show  what  this  rest  contains. 
§  5.  It  contains,  (1.)  A  ceasing  from  means  of  grace;  §  6.  (2.1 
A  perfect  freedom  from  all  evils ;  §  7.  (3.)  The  highest  degree 
of  the  saints''  personal  perfection,  both  in  body  and  soul ;  §  8.  , 
(4.)  The  nearest  enjoyment  of  God  the  chief  good ;  §  9 — 14. 
(5.)  A  sweet  and  constant  action  of  all  the  powers  of  soul  and 
body  in  this  enjoyment  of  God ;  as  for  instance,  bodily  senses, 
knowledge,  memory,  love,  joy,  together  with  a  mutual  love  and 
joy.  §  1 5.  The  author's  humble  reflection  on  the  deficiency  of 
this  account. 

§  1.  It  was  not  only  our  interest  in  God,  and 
actual  enjoyment  of  him,  which  was  lost  in  Adam's 
fall,  but  all  spiritual  knowledge  of  him,  and  true, 
disposition  towards  such  a  felicity.  When  the  Son  of 
God  comes  with  recovering  grace,  and  discoveries 
of  a  spiritual  and  eternal  happiness  and  glory,  he 
finds  not  faith  in  man  to  believe  it.    As  the  poor 


-i  THE    NATURE    OF 

man,  that  would  not  believe  any  one  had  such  a 

sum  as  a  hundred  pounds,' it  was  so  far  above  what 

himself  possessed;'  so  men  will  hardly  now  believe 

there  is  such  a  happiness  as  once  they  had,  much 

less  as  Christ  hath  now  procured.    When.God  would 

give  the  Israelites  his  sabbaths  pf  rest,  in  a  land  of 

rest,  he  had  more  ado  to  make  them  believe  it,  than 

to  overcome  their  enemies,  and  procure  it  for  them. 

And  when  they  had  it,  only  as  a  small  intimation  and 

earnest  of  an  incomparably  more  glorious  rest  through 

Christ,  they  yet  believe  no  more  than  they  possess, 

but  say  with  the  glutton  at  the  feast.  Sure  there  is 

no  other  heaven  but  this !    Or,  if  they  expect  more 

by  the  Messiah,  it  is  only  the  increase  of  their  earthly 

felicity.      The  apostle  bestows  most  of  this  epjstle 

against  this  distemper,  and  clearly  and  largely  proves, 

that  the  end  of  all  ceremonies  and  shadows,  is  to 

direct  them- to  Jesus  Christ,  the  substance  ;  and  that 

the  rest  of  sabbaths,  and  Canaan,  should  feach  them 

to  look    for  a   farther    rest,    which   indeed  is  their 

happiness.      My  text  is  his  conclusion  after  divers 

arguments  ;  a  conclusion  which  contains  the  ground 

of  all  the  believer's  comfort,  the  end  of  all  his  duty 

and  sufferings,  the  life  and  sum  of  all  gospel  promises 

and  Christian  privileges.  What  more  welcome  to  men, 

under  personal  afflictions,  tiring  duties,  successions 

of  sufferings,  than  rest?    It  is  not  our  comfort  only, 

but  our  stability.     Our  liveliness  in  all  duties,  our 

enduring   tribulation,   our  honouring   of  God,  the 

vigour  of  our  love,  thankfulness,  and  all  our  graces; 

yea,  the  very  being  of  our  religion  and  Christianity, 

depend  on  the  believing  serious  thoughts  of  our  rest. 

And  now,  reader,  whatever  thou  art,  young  or  old, 

rich  or  poor,  I  entreat  thee,  and  charge  theej  in  the 

name  of  thy  Lord,  who  will  shortly  call  thee  to  a 

THE   saints'  rest.  3 

reckoning,  and  judge  thee  to  thy  everl^ting  un- 
changeable state,  that  thou  give  not  these  things 
the  reading  only,  and  so  dismiss  them  with  a  bare 
approbation ;  but  that  thou  set  upon  this  work,  and 
take  God  in  Christ  for  thy  only  rest,  and  fix  thy 
heart  upon  him  above  all.  May  the  living  God,  who 
is  the  portion  and  rest  of  his  saints,  make  these  our 
carnal , minds  so  spiritual,  and  our  earthly  hearts  so 
heavenly,  that  loving  him,  and  delighting  in  him, 
may  be  the  work  of  our  lives ;  and  that  neither  I  that 
write,  nor  you  that  rftad  this  book,  may  ever  be  turned 
from  this  path  of  life ;  lest,  a  promise  being  left  us 
of  entering  into  his  rest,  we  should  come  short  of  it, 
through  our  own  unbelief  or  negligence.* 

§  2.  The  saints'  rest  is  the  most  happy  state  of  a 
Christian  J  or  it  is  the  perfect  endless  enjoyment  of 
God  by  the  perfected  saints,  according  to  the  measure 
of  their  capacity,  to  which  their  souls  arrive  at  death, 
and  both  soul  and  body  most  fully  after  the  resurrec- 
tion and  final  judgment.  According  to  this  definition 
of  the  saints'  rest,  a  larger  account  of  its  nature  will 
be  given  in  this  chapter;  of  its  preparatives,  chap,  ii.; 
its  excellencies,  chap,  iii.;  and  chap.  iv.  the  persons 
for  whom  it  is  designed.  Farther  to  illustrate  this 
subject,  some  description  will  be  given,  chap.  v.  of 
their  misery  who  lose  this  rest ;  and,  chap.  vi.  who 
also  lose  the  enjoyments  of  time,  and  suiFer  the  tor- 
ments of  hell :  next  will  be  showed,  chap.  vii.  the 
necessity  of  diligently  seeking  this  rest ;  chap.  viii. 
how  our  title  to  it  may  be  discerned ;  chap.  ix.  that 
they  who  discern  their  title  to  it,  should  help  those 
that  cannot ;  and,  chap.  x.  that  this  rest  is  not  to  be 
expected  on  earth.  It  will  then  be  proper  to  consider, 
chap.  xi.  the  iipportance  of  a  heavenly  life  upon  earth, 
*  Heb.  iv.  1. 

4  THE    NATURE    OF 

chap.  xii.  how  to  live  a  heavenly  life  upon  earth; 
chap.  xiii.  the  nature  of  heavehly  contemplation, 
■with  the  time,  place,  and  temper  fittest  for  it;  chap, 
xiv.  what  use  heavenly  contemplation  makes  of 
consideration,  affections,  soliloquy,  and  prayer;  and 
likewise,  chap.  xv.  how  heavenly  contemplation  may 
be  assisted  by  sensible  objects,  and  guarded  against  a 
treacherous  heart.  Heavenly  contemplation  will  be 
exemplified,  chap.  xvi.  and  the  whole  work  con- 
cluded.      ^ 

§  3.  There  are  some  things  necessarily  presupposed 
in  the  nature  of  this  rest;  as,  for  instance, — that 
mortal  men  are  the  persons  seeking  it.  For  angels 
and  glorified  spirits  have  it  already,  and  the  devils 
and  damned  are  past  hope. — That  they  choose  Gfod 
only  for  their  end  and  happiness.  He  that  takes  a^y 
thing  else  for  his  happiness,  is  out  of  the  way  the  first 
step'.— —That  they  are  distant  from  this  end.  This 
is  the  woeful  case  of  all  mankind  since  the  fall. 
When  Christ  comes  with  regenerating  grace,  he  finds 
no  man  sitting  still,  but  all  posting  to  eternal  ruin, 
and  making  haste  towards  hell ;  till,  by  conviction, 
he  first  brings  them  to  a  stand ;  and  then,  by  conver- 
sion, turns  their  hearts  and  lives  sincerely  to  himself. 

This  end,  and  its  excellency,  is  supposed  to  be 

known,  jand  seriously  intended.  An  unknown  good 
moves  not  to  desire  or  endeavour.  And  not  only  a 
distance  from  this  rest,  but  the  true  knowledge  of 
this  distance  is  also  supposed:  They  that  never  yet 
knew  they  were  without  God,  and  in  the  way  to  hell, 
did  never  yet  know  the  way  to  heaven.  Can  a  man 
find  he  hath  lost  his  God,  and  his  soul,  and  not  cry, 
/  am  undmie?  The  reason  why  so  few  obtain  this 
rest  is,  they  will  not  be  convinced,  that  they  are, 
in  point  of  title,  distant  from  it;  and,  in  point  of 

THE  saints'   rest.  5 

practice,  contrary  to  it.  Who  ever  sought  for  that, 
which  he  knew  not  he  had  lost  ?  They  that  be  whole 
^erf  not  a  physician,  but  they  that  are  sick.*— The 
influence  of  a  superior  moving  cause  is  also  supposed; 
else  we  shall  all  stand  still,  and  not  move  toward  our 
rest.  If  God  move  us  not,  we  cannot  move.  It  is  a 
most  necessary  part  of  our  Christian  wisdom,  to  keep 
our  subordination  to  God,  and  dependence  on  him. 
fP^e  are  not  sufficient  of  oursehes  to  think  any 
thing  a^  of  ourselves^  but  ou,r  sufficiency  is  of  God.f 
Without  me,  says  Christ,  ye  can  do  nothins-X — It  is 
next  supposed,  that  they  Who  seek  this  rest,  have 
an  inward  principal  of  spiritual  life.  God  does  not 
■move  men  like  stones,  but  he  endows  them  with 
life,  not  to  enable  theiti  to  move  without  him,  but 
in  subordination  to. himself,  the  first  mover.  And 
farther,  this  rest  supposes  such  an  actual  tendency 
of  soul  towards  it,  as  is  regular  ahd  constant,  earnest 
and  laborious.  He  that  hides  his  talents,  shall 
receive  the  wages  of  a  slothful  servant.  Christ  is 
the  door,  the  only  way  to  this  rest.  But  strait  is  the 
gate,  and  narrow  is  the  way  ;^  and  we  must  strive,  if 
we  will  enteii,  for  many  will  seek  to  enter  in,  and 
shall  not  be  able i^  which  implies,  that  the  kingdom 
of  heaven  svffereth  violence.^  Nor  will  it  bring  ns 
to  the  end  of  the  saints,  if  we  begin  in  the  spirit,  and 
end  in  the  flesh.**  He  only  that  endureth  to  the  end, 
shall  he  saved.'^'\  And  never  did  a  soul  obtain  rest 
with  God,  whose  desire  was  not  set  upon  him  above 
all  things  else  in  the  world,  ffliere  your  treasure  is, 
there  ivill  your  heart  be  also.X^  The  remainder  of 
our  old  nature  will  much  weaken  and  interrupt  these 

*  Matt.  ix.  12.  t  2  Cor.  iii.  5.  J  John  xv.  5. 

§  Matt.  vii.  13.  II  Luke  xiii.  24.  i[  Matt.  xi.  12. 

**  Gal.  iii.  3.  ft  Matt,  xxiv,  13,       %%  Matt.  vi.  21. 


desires,  but  never  overcome  them.  And  considering 
the  opposition  to  our  desires,  from  the  contrary  prin- 
ciples in  our  nature,  and  from  the  weakness  of  our 
graces,  together  with  our  continued  distance  from  the 
end,  our  tendency  to  that  end  must  be  laborious,  and 
with  all  our  might. — All  these  things  are  presupposed, 
in  order  to  a  Christian's  obtaining  an  interest  in 
heavenly  rest. 

§  4.  Now  we  have  ascended  these  steps  into  the 
outwaid  court,  may  we  look  within  the  vail(  May 
we  show  what  this  rest  contains,  as  well  as  what  it 
presupposes  ?  Alas,  how  little  know  I  of  that  glory ! 
The  glimpse  which  Paul  had,  contained  what  could 
not,  or  must  not,  be  uttered.  Had  he  spoke  the 
things  of  heaven,  in  the  language  of  heaven,  and 
none  understood  that  language,  what  the  better? 
The  Lord  reveal  to  me  what  I  may  reveal  to  you  ! 
The  Lord  open  some  light,  and  show  both  you  and 
me  our  inheritance  !  Not  as  to  Balaam  only,  whose' 
eyes  were  opened  to  see  the  godliness  of  Jacob's 
tents,  and  Israel's  tabernacles,  where  he  had  no 
portion,  and  from  whence  must  come  his  own 
destruction !  Not  as  to  Moses,  who  had  only  a 
discovery,  instead  of  possession,  and  saw  the  land 
which  he  never  entered !  But  as  the  pearl  was 
revealed  to  the  merchant  in  the  gospel,  who. rested 
not  till  he  had  sold  all  he  had,  and  bought  it !  And 
as  heaven  was  opened  to  blessed  Stephen,  which  he 
was  shortly  to  enter,  and  the  glory  showed  him 
which  should  be  his  own  possession  !-^The  things 
contained  in  heavenly  rest  are  such  as  these  ;-^a 
ceasing  from  means  of  grace; — a  perfect  freedom  from 
all  evils; — the  highest  degree  of  the  saints'  personal 
perfection,  both  of  body  and  soul — the  nearest 
enjoyment  of  God  the  chief  good  ;-randj  a  sweet 

THE    saints'   rest.  7 

and  constant  action  of  all  the  powers  of  body  and 
soul  in  this  enjoyment  of  God. 

§  5.  (1.)  One  thing  contained  in  heavenly  rest  is, 
the  ceasing  from  means  of  grace.  When  we  have 
obtained  the  haven,  we  have  done  sailing.  When 
the  workman  receives  his  wages,  it  is  implied,  he  has 
done  his  work.  When  we  are  at  our  journey's  end, 
we  have  done  with  the  way.  Whether  prophecies, 
they  shall  faiU  whether  tongues,  they  shall  cease; 
whether  knowledge,  it  also,  so  far  as  it  had  the  nature 
of  means,  shall  vanish  away*  There  shall  be  no 
more  prayer,  because  no  more  necessity,  but  the  full 
enjoyment  of  what  we  prayed  for:  Neither  shall  we 
need  to  fast,  and  weep,  and  watch  any  more,  being 
out  of  the  reach  of  sin"  and  temptations.  Preaching 
is  done ;  the  ministry  of  man  ceaseth ;  sacraments 
become  useless;  the  labourers  are  called  in,  because 
the  harvest  is  gathered,  the  tares  burned,  and  the 
work  finished :  the  unregenerate  past  hope,  and  the 
saints  past  fear,  for  ever. 

§  6.  (2.)  There  is  in  heavenly  rest  a  perfect  freedom 
from  all  evils.  All  the  evils  that  accompanied  us 
through  our  course,  and  which  necessarily  follow  our 
absence  from  the  chief  good:  Besides  our  freedom  from 
those  eternal  flames,  and  restless  miseries,  which  the 
neglecters  of  Christ  and  grace  must  remedilessly 
endure;  a  woeful  inheritance,  which,  both  by  birth 
and  actual  merit,  was  due  to  us,  as  well  as  to  them! 
In  heaven  there  is  nothing  that  d^leth,  or  is  unclean ; 
all  Ma<  remains  without. ■\  And  doubtless  there  is 
not  such  a  thing  as  grief  and  sorrow  known  there ; 
nor  is  there  such  a  thing  as  a  pale  facie,  a  languid 
body,  feeble  joints,  unable  infancy,  decrepit  age, 
peccant  humours,  painful  or  pining  sickness,~griping 

•  1  Cor.  xiii.  8.  t  ^^'^>  XJ^'-  27.  xxii.  15. 

8  THK    NATCRE    OF 

fears,  consuming  cares,  nor  whatsoever  deserves  the 
name  of  evil.  We  did  weq),  an/I  lament  when  ^h^^w&rld 
did  rejoice;  but  our  sorrow  is  tysried  to  jotf,  and  our 
joy  shall  no  man  take  from  us,* 

§  7.  (3.)  Another  ingredient  pf  this  rest  is,  the 
highest  degree  of  the  saints'  personal  perfection,  bpth 
of  body  and  soul.  Were  the  glory  ever  so  great,  and 
themselves  pot  made  capable  of  it,  by  a  personal 
perfection  suitable  thereto,  it  would  be  little  to  them. 
Eye  hath  not  seen,  nor  ear  heard;  neith,er  hq,ve  entered 
into  the  heart  of  man,  the  things  which  God  hath 
prepared  Jbr  them  that  love  him.-\  For  the  eye  of 
flesh  is  not  capable  of  seeing  them,  nor  this  ear 
of  hearing  them,  nor  this  heart  of  understanding 
them:  But  there  the  eye,  and  ear,  and  heart,  are 
made  capable;  else  how  do  they  enjoy  them?  The 
more  perfect  the  sight  is,  the  more  delightful  the 
beautiful  object.  The  more  perfect  the  appetite, 
the  sweeter  the  food ;  the  more  nausjcal  the  ear,  the 
more  pleasant  the  melody ;  the  more  perfect  the  soul, 
the  more  joyous  those  joys,  and  the  more  glorious  to 
us  is  that  glory. 

§8.  (4.)  The  principal  part  of  this  rest  is  our 
nearest  enjoyment  of  God  the  chief  good.  lAnd 
here,  reader,  wonder  not  if  I  be  at  a  loss ;  and  if  my 
apprehensions  receive  but  little  of  that  vvhich  is  in 
my  expressions.  If  it  did  not  appear,  to  the  beloved 
disciple,  what  we  shall  be,  but  only  in  general,  that 
when  Christ  shall  appear  we  shall  be  like  him,X  no 
wonder  if  I  know  little.  When  I  know  so  little  of 
God,  I  cannot  much  know  what  it  is  to  enjoy  him. 
If  I  knov?  so  little  of  spirits,  how  little  of  thb  Father 
of  spirits,  or  the  state  of  my  own  80ul,  when  advanced 
to  the  enjoyment  of  him  !  I  stand  and  look  upon  a 
*  John  xvi.  20.  22.  f  1  Cor.  ii.  9.  %  \  John  iii.  2.' 

THE   saints'   best.  9 

heap  of  ants,  and  see  them  all  with  brie  view  ;  they 
khcrw  not  me,  fliy  being,  nature,  or  thoughts,  though 
I  am  their  fellow-creatui-e ;  how  littlie  then  must  we 
kiiow  of  the  great  Crfeatorj  thoiigh  he  with  one  view 
clearly  beholds  us  all !  A  glimpse  the  saints  behold  as 
inaglms;*  which  makes  us  capable  of  some  poor 
dark  apprehensions  of  what  we  shall  behold  in  glory. 
If  t  should  tell  a  worldlirrg  what  th6  holiness  and 
spiritual  joys  of'  the  saints  on  earth  are,  he  cannot 
know ;  fo*  grace  cannot  be  clearly  known  without 
grace:  hc)w  much  less  could  he  conceive  it,  should 
I  tell  hitti  of  this  glory?    But  to  the  saints  I  may  be 
somewhat  more  enfeouraged  to  speak ;  for  grace  gives 
them  a  dark  knowledge  and  slight  taste  of  glory.     If 
men  and  angels  should  study  tospteak  the  blessedness 
of  that  state  in  one  Word,  what  could  they  say  beyond 
this,  that  it  is  the  nearisst  enjoyment  of  God  ?    O  the 
full  joys  offered  to  a  believer  ill  that  one  sentence;  of 
Christ,  Fatfii^,  ItviW  that  those  Ivtibm  thou  hast  given 
me  be  with  me  wh'er6  I  am,  that  thep  may  behold  my 
ghry  wMlsh  thou  hast  gi^n  ■me.-f    E^ery  word  is  full 
of  life  and  joy.     If  the  queen  of  Sheba  had  cause  to 
say  of  Solomon's  glory,  Happy  are  thy  men,  happy 
are  these  thy  servants,  who  stand  continually  before 
thee,  and  that  hear  thy  wisdom,"^  then  sOre  they  that 
stand  continually  before  God  and  see  his  glory,  and 
the  glory  of  the  Lamb,  are  more  than  happy.     To 
them  will  Christ  give  to  eat  of  the  tfee  of  life ;  and 
to  eat  of  the  hidden  manna :  yea,  he  will  7tiake  therh 
pillars  in  the  temple  of  God,  and  they  shall  go  no 
more  out;  and  he  wilt  ivrite  upon  them  the  name  (fhis 
God,  amd  the  name  of  the  city  of  his  God,  which  is 
New  Jerusalem,  which  eometh  doubn  out  of  heaven 
from  his  God,  and  he  will  write  upon  them  his  new 
*  2  Cctr.  ill.  18.  t  Johii  jfvii.  24.  J  1  Kings  x.  8. 


10  THE   NATURE   OF 

name ;  yea,  more,  if  more  may  be,  he  will  grant  them 
to  sit  with  him  on  his  throne.  These  are  they  who 
came  out  of  great  tribulation,  and  have  washed  their 
robes,  and  made  thenf,  white  in  the  hlood  of  the  Lamb: 
therefore  are  they  before  the  throne  of  God,  and 
serve  him  day  and  night  in  his  temple,  and  he  that 
sitteth  on  the  throne  shall  dwell  among  them.  The 
Lamb  which  is  in  the  midst  of  the  throne  shall  feed 
them,  and  shall  lead  them  unto  living  fountains  of 
water ;  and  God  shall  wipe  away  all. tears  from  their 
eyes.*  O  blind,  deceived  world  !  Can  you  show  us 
such  a  glory  ?  This  is  the  city  of  our  God,  where 
the  tabernacle  of  God  is  with  men,  and  he  will  dwell 
with  them,  and  they  shall  be  his  people,  and  God 
himself  shall  be  with  them,  and  be  their  God.  The 
glory  of  God  shall  lighten  it,  and  the  Lamb  is  the 
light  thereof.  And  there  shall  be  no  more  curse :.  but 
the  throne  (f  God  and  of  the  Lamb  shall  he  in  it ; 
and  his  servants  shall  serve  him ;  and  they  shall  see 
his  face,  and  his  name  shall  be  in  their  foreheads. 
These  sayings  are  faithful  and  true,  and  the  things 
which  must  shortly  be  dbwe.f  'And  now  we  say  as 
Mephibosheth,  let  the  world  take  all,  for  as  much 
as  our  Lord  will  come  in  peace.  J  Rejoice  therefore 
in  the  Lord,  O  ye  righteous,  and  say  with  his 
servant  David,  the  Lord  is  the  portion  of  mine 
inheritance:  The  lines  are  fallen  unto  me  in  pleasant 
places ;  yea,  I  have  a  goodly  heritage.  I  have  set  the 
Lord  aluiays  before  me,  because  he  is  at  my  right- 
hand,  I  shall  not  be  moved.  Therefore  my  heart  is 
glad,  and  my  glory  rejoiceth ;  my  flesh  also  shall  rest 
in  hope.  For  thou  tvilt  not  leave  my  soul  in  hell, 
neither  wilt  thou  suffer  thine  Holy  One  to  see  corrup- 

*  Rev.  ii.  7.  17,  iii.  12,  21.  vii,  14,  15.  17- 

t  Rev.  xxi.  3.  24.   xxii.  3,  4.  6.  ^  S  Sam.  xix.  30. 

THE   saints'  rest.  11 

tim.     Thou  wilt  show  me  the  path  of  life ;  in  thy 

presence  is  fulness  of  joy ;  at  thy  right-hand  there  are 

pleasures  for  evermore*     What  presumption  would 

it  have  been  once  to  have  thought  or  spoke  of  such 

a  thing,  if  God  had  not  spoken  it  before  Us  !  I  durst 

not  have  thought  of  the  saints'  preferment  in  this  life, 

as  scripture  sets  it  forth,  had  it  not  been  the  express 

truth  of  God.     How  indecent  to  talk  of  being  Sons 

of  Godr^  speaking  to  him — having  fellowship  with 

him — dwelling  in  hipi  and  he  in  us  ;\  if  this  had  not 

been  God's  own  language  ?  How  much  less  durst  we 

have  once  thought  of  shining  forth  as  the  sun — of 

being  joint-heirs  with  Christ— 'Of  judging  the  world 

—of  sitting  on  Christ's  throne— ^f  being  one  in  him 

and  the  Father, %  if  we  had  not  all  this  from  the 

mouth,  and  under  the  hand  of  God  ?    But  hath  he 

said,  and  shall  he  not  do  it  9    Hath  he  spoken,  and 

shall  he  not  make  it  good? ^    Yes,  as  the  Lord  God 

is  trUej  thus  shall  it  be  done  unto  the  man  whom 

Christ  deJighteih  to  honour.  }H     Be  of  good-  cheer, 

Christian ;  the  time  is  near,  when  God  and  thou  shalt 

be  near,  and  as  near  as  thou  canst  well  desire.     Thou 

shalt  dwell  in  his  family.    Is  that  enough  ?  It  is  better 

to  be  a  door-keeper  in  the  house  of  God,  than  to  dwell 

in  the  tents  of  wickedness.^     Thou  shalt  ever  stand 

before  him,  about  his  throne,  in  the  room  with  him, 

in   his  presence-chamber.       Wouldst  thou  yet  be 

nearer?    Thou  shalt  be  his  child,  and  he  thy  father; 

thou  shalt  be  an  heir  of  his  kingdom  ;  yea,  more,  the 

spouse  of  his  Son.      And  what  more  canst  thou 

*  Psal.  xvi»  5,  6.  8— 11.  xxxi.  1. 
f ,  1  Johfl  iii.  ].     Gen.  xviii.  27.     1  John  i.  3.   iy.  l6. 
J  Matt.  xiii.  43.      Rom.  viii.  17.     1  Cor.  vi.  2.      Rev.  iii.  21. 
John  xvii.  21. 
§  Numb,  xsiii.  19.    |(  Esther  vi.  11.     ^  Psalm  Ixxxiv.  10. 

12  tHE    NATUEE   pF 

4ea.ire?  Thoush^lt  be  a  miemb^r  pf  the  ,bpdy  of  bis 
Son ;  be  sball  be  thy  head  i  thou  shalt  be  one  with 
him,  who  is  one  with  the  Father,  as  he  himself  hath 
desired  for  thee  of  his  Father,  tftat  4hey  al,l  may  be 
qne:  as  thou,  Father,  art  in  me,  a,n(i  I  ip,  ihee,  that 
they  also  may  ,hp  one  in  us.  ^^^4  the  glqry  i/ehioh 
thofi  gavest  me  I  }iQ,ve  given  them ;  thpt  they  ViQiy  he 
one,  even  as  we  are  one:  I  in  them,  and  thou  in  me, 
tjiat  they  may  be  made  .perfect  in  one;  md  thM  the 
world;,  may  l^inow  that  thou  hast  sent  me,  and  hif^st 
laved  them,  as  thou  hast  loved  me.* 

§  9.  (5.)  .We  must  add,  that  this  res^  contains  », 
sweet  and  constant  action  pf  all  the  powers  of  t,b^ 
sou]  and  bpdy  in  tbis  enjoyment  of  God,  Jt  is  not 
thie  rest  of  a  stone,  which  ceaseth  fron\  all  motion 
when  it  attains  tl^e  centre. — This  body  sha.H.  he  so 
^h^nged,  that  it  shall  no  niore  be  A^sb  ^^'A  blood, 
which  cttfinot  inherit  the  kingdom  of  Qq^;  bid  a 
spiritual  body.  We  sow  not  that  body  that  shg,U  be, 
but  God  giveth  it  atbody  as  it  hath  pleased  himi,  V<nd 
to  every  seed  his  qwn  bq^UfA  If  g^^^JSP  fR^^6s  a 
Chcistian  (^iffer  so  much  frpni  wb^  b^  wag,  as  tp  ^ay, 
I  am  not  fhe  ma^  I  was ;  how  niucb  mor«  \YiU  glory 
make  us  differ?  As  mUcb  as  a  body  s^pirjtu^l  abpve 
the  sun  in  glory,  ^j^qeed^  these  frails  noisome,  dis- 
eased lumps  of  fipsh,  so  far  $hall  oi^y  senses  exceed 
those  we  now  possess.  DoubMess  as  God  advaijqeth ' 
our  senses,  and  enkrgetb  our  capacity,  so  will  be 
advance  the  happiness  of ,.t;l^o§e  ?ens,eg,  and  fill  up 
with  himself  all  th^t  capacity,  (^.ertainly  the  body 
should  not  be  raised  up  and  continued,  if  it  should 
not  share  in  the  glory.  As  it  hath  shared  in  the 
obedience  and  sufferings^  so  shafl  it  also  in  the 
blessedness.     As  Christ  bought  the  whole  man,  so 

*  John  xvii.  ^1 — 23.  f  1  for,  xv.  37,3.8. 

shall  the  Kurholf  part?<ki^  of  the  everlasting  benefits  of 
the  purchase.     0  blessed  employment  of  a  glorified 
body,  to  stand  before  the  throne  of  Qod  and  the 
Lamb,  ap4  to  sound  forth  f^r  f  ver,  Thou  art  woril^t, 
O  Lord,  to  r^ceiue  ghr^t  a«<^  honour,  ai^  pow^- 
Wortiy  U  the  ti^mh  $,hat  i/sg^  ^laiuj,  to  receive  power, 
and  ricbesi,  and  wisdom,  aifd  air^gthi,  and  hftnojtr, 
and  glory,  g^vd  blefsiag,;  for  thau  ftftst  nedeervfid  M# 
tQ  God  by  thy  ^Ipod,  out  of  ^very  kinditedt  and  tmg'Wh 
ai(id  people,  and  n^ionx  Q<nd  hast  mide.  us  unto  owr 
God  kings  and  priests.    Allffyiia,  Sifivtttipn^  andghiry, 
and  honow,  and  power,  un^  the  Lord  our   God- 
^lehiia,,  for  the  f^or^  Qod  mivippiient  r^igneth.    O 
Christians!  thisjs  the  blessed  rest;  a  rest,  as  it  wera, 
without  rest ;  for  thfy  rfSjt  not  day  and  night,  saying. 
Holy,  holy,  hpfy,  Lord  God  Almighty,  who  wots,  and 
if,  (md  ^  to  come.* — And  if  the  body  shall  be  thus 
employed,  1  oh,  how  shall  the  spwl  be  taken  up?     As 
its  powers  and  capacities  are  greatest,  so  it$  actions 
are  gtsrongest,  ^^d  its  enjoyments  sweetest.     As  the 
bodily  sW;Ses  have  their  pi^opef  actioijis,  whereby  they 
receive  and  enjoy  their  objeqiis,  so  does  the  soul  in 
its  own  aption  i^jojr  its  ow^i  object,  by  knowing, 
remembering,  Jovinig,  and  dejightful  joying.      This 
is  the  soul's  enjoyment.     By  these  eyes  it  sees,  and 
by  the^e  arms  it  eH^braces. 

§  10.  Knowledge  of  itself  is  very  desinable.  'As 
fer  as  thejp^onaVssojjJ  QSfteeds  the  sensitive,  so  far  the 
delightsof  a  philosopher,  in  discovering  the  secrets  of 
nature,  and  knowing  the  ^pniys,tftry  of  sciences,  exceed 
the  delights  ^f  the  glutton,  the  drunkard,  the  unclean, 
apd  of  all  voluptuous  s,ensi\aiists  whatsoever.  So 
^JMS^l^Ht  is  all  tf;«th.  What  then  is  their  delight 
who  knovir  tbe  God  of  truth  ? ,,,  How  noble  a  faculty 
*  Rev.  iv.  11.     V.  9,  10.  1,2.     xix.  .1.  6.     iv.  8.^ . 

14  THE    NATURE   or 

of  the  soul  is  the  understanding !  It  cian  compass 
the  earth  ;  it  can  measure  the  sun,  moon,  stars,  and 
heaven ;  it  can  foreknow  each  eclipse  to  a  minute, 
rhany  years  before.  But  this  is  thp  top  of  all  its 
excellency,  tliat  it  can  know  God,  who  is  infinite, 
who  made  all  these ;  a  little  here,  and  more,  much 
more,  hereafter.  O  the  wisdom  and  goodness  of  our 
blessed  Lord !  He  hath  Created  the  understanding 
with  a  n^^tural  bias  and  inclination  to  truth,  as  its 
object;  and  to  the  prime  truth,  as  its  prime  object. 
Christian,  when,  after  a  long  gazing  heavenward,  thou 
hast  got  a  glimpse  of  Christ,  dost  thou  not  some- 
times seem  to  have  been  with  Paul  in  the  third 
heaven,  whether  in  the  body,  or  out,  and  to  have  seen 
what  is  unutterable  P*  Art  thou  not,  with  Peter, 
ready  to  say,  "  Master,  it  is  good  to  be  Aere?"f 
"  Oh  that  I  might  dwell  in  this  mount !  Oh  that 
I  might  ever  see  what  I  now  see  !"  Didst  thou  never 
look  so  long  upon  the  Sun  of  Righteousness,  till 
thine  eyes  were  dazzled  with  his  astonishing  glory  ? 
And  did  not  the  splendour  of  it  make  all  things 
below  seem  black  and  dark  to  thee  ?  .  Especially  in 
the  day  of  sufiering  for  Christ,  when  he  usually 
appears  most  manifestly  to  his  people,  didst  thou 
never  see  one  walking  in  the  midst  of  the  Jiery 
furnace  with  thee,  like  the  Son  of'  God  ?X  Believe 
me.  Christians,  yea,  believe  God ;  you  that  have 
known  most  of  God  in  Christ  here,  it  is  as  nothing 
to  what  you  shall  know  ;  it  scarce,  in  comparison  of 
that,  deserves  to  be  called  knowledge.  '  For  as  these 
bodies,  so  that  knowledge  must  cease,  that  a  more 
perfect  may  succeed.  Knowledge  shall  vanish  away. 
For  we  know  in  part ;  but  when  that  which  is  perfect 
is  come,  then  that  which  is  in  part  shall  be  done 
*  2  Cor.  xii.  2—4.         f  Mark.  ix.  S.  '      t  I^an*  >"•  25. 

THE   saints'   rest.  15 

away.  rfTim  I  was  a  child,  1  spake  as  a  child,  I 
understood  as  a  child,  I  thought  as  a  child;  but 
when  I  became  a  man,  I  put  away  childish  things. 
For  now  we  see  through  a  glass,  darkly;  but  then  face 
to  face :  now  I  know  in  part,  hut  then  shall  I  know 
even  as  also  I  am  known.*  Marvel  not,  therefore, 
Christian,  how  it  can  be  Lfe  eternal,  to  know  God, 
and  Jesus  Christ.^  To  enjoy  God  and  Christ,  is 
eternal  life;  and  the  soul's  enjoying  is  in  knowing. 
They  that  savour  only  of  earth,  and  consult  with  flesh, 
think  it  a  poor  hdppiness  to  know  God.  But  we 
know  that  we  are  of  God,  and  thc' whole  world  lieth 
in  wickedness :  and  we  know  that  the  Son  of  God  is 
come,  and  hath  given  us  an  understanding,  that  we 
may  know  him  that  is  true ;  and  we  are  in  him  that  is 
true,  even  in  his  Son  Jesus  Christ.  This  is  the  true 
God,  and  eternal  life.X 

§  11.  The  memory  will  not  be  idle,  or  useless,  in 
this  blessed  work.  From  that  height  the  saint  can 
look  behind  him,  and'  before  him.  And  to  compare 
past  with  present  things,  must  needs  raise  in  the 
blessed  soul  an  inconceivable  esteem  and  sense  of  its 
condition.  To.  stand  on  that  mount,  whence  he  can 
see  the  Wilderness  and  Canaan,  both  at  once;  to 
stand  in  heaven,  and  look  back  on  earth,  and  weigh 
them  together  in  the  balance  of  a  comparing  sense 
and  judgment,  how  must  it  needs  transport  the  soul, 
and  make  it  cry  out,  "  Is  this  the  purchase  that 
"  cost  so  dear  as  the  blood  of  Christ?  No  wonder. 
"  O  blessed  price !  and  thrice  blessed  love,  that 
"  invented,  and  condescended !  Is  this  the.  end  of 
"  believing  ?  Is  this  the  end  of  the  Spirit's  workings? 
"  Have  the  gales  of  grace  blown  me  into  such  a 
"  harbour?    Is  it  hither  that  Christ  hath  allured  my 

*  1  Cor.  xiii.  8—12      f  John  xvii.  3.      J    1  John  v.  19,»20. 

16  tME  irAffTfete  ov 

"  soul  ?    O  bl««se«l  <vay,  and  thtice  bleaSed  end !    Is 
"  this  the  glory  v»bmta^  the  set^ptufcs  Spoke  bf,  diid 
"  ministeris  pteaeberf  of  80  much  ^  I  see  the  gospel  k 
"  indeed  good  tidingsj  even  tidifigs  of  peace  and  gdod 
"  things,  tidings  of  great  joy  to  all  ftali'dfis!'   Is  my 
"  mourning,  my  fasting,  ifty  sad  humblings,  my  heavy 
*'  *\^alking,  conle  to  lhi»?    Is  my  pJayjflf,  watching, 
,"  fearing  to  wffeiid,  come  to  this?    Are  all  my  aHid- 
"  tions,  Satan's  temptations,  the  world's  scorns  ^ild 
"  j^ers,  come  to  this  ?— O  vile  natore,  that  resisted  so 
"  much,  and  so  long,  such  a  blessing !    Unworthy 
"  soul,  is  tRis  the  place  thou  earnest  so  unwillingly 
"to?    Was  duty  wearisome?    Was  the  world  too 
"  good  to  lose  ?     Didst  thou  stick  at  leaving  all, 
"  denying  all,  and  suffering  any  thing,   for  this  ? 
"  Was  thou  loath  to  die,  to  come  to  this  ?    O  false 
"  heart,  thou  hast  almost  betrayed  me   to  eternal 
"  flames^  and  lost  me  this  glory !    Art  thou  not  tiow 
"  ashamed,  my  soul,  that  ever  thou  didst  question 
"  that  love  which  brought  thee  hither  ?     That  thou 
"  WMt  jealous  of  the  faithfulness  of  thy  Lord  ?    That 
"  thou  suspectedst  his  love,  when  thou  shouldtst  only 
"  have  suspected  thyself?     That  ever  thou  didst 
"quench  a  motion  of  his  Spirit?   And  that  thou 
"  sbouldst  misinterpifet  those  providences,  and  repine 
*'  at  those  ways,  which  have  such  an  end  ?    Now 
"  thou  art  sufficiently  convinced^  that  thy  blessed 
"  Redeemer  was  saving  thee,  as  well  when  he  crossed 
"  thy  desires,  as  wbea  he  granted  them ;  when  he 
"  broke  thy  heart,  as  when  he  bound  it  up.    No 
"  thanks  to  thee,   UUworthy  self,  for  this  received 
"  crown ;  but  to  Jehovah,  and  the  Latttb,  be  glory 
"  for  ever."  ' 

§  13.  But,  oh  !  the  full,  the  near,  the  sweet  enjpy- 
meivt,  is  that  of  love.      God  is  love;  and  he  that 

THE   saints'  rest.  17 

dwelleth  in  hoe,  dweUeth  in  God,  and  God  in  him.* 
Now  the  poor  soul  complains,  "  O  that  I  could  love 
*'  Christ  more!"  Then,  thou  cainst  not  choose  but 
love  him.  Now  thou  knowest  little  of  his  amiable- 
ness,  and  therefore  lovest  little :  Theft,  thine  eyes  will 
affect  thy  heart,  and  the  continual  viewing  of  that 
perfect  beauty  will  keep  thee  in  continual  tmnsports 
of  love.  Christians,  doth  it  not  now  stir  up  you* 
love,  to  remember  all  the  experiences  of  his  love? 
Doth  not  kindness  melt  you,  and  the  sunshine  of 
divine  goodness  warm  your  frozen  hearts?  What 
will  it  do,  then,  when  you  shall  live  in  love,  and  hav6 
all  in  hini,  who  is  all  ?  Surely  love  is  both  work  and 
wages.  What  a  high  favour,  that  God  will  give  us 
leave  to  love  him !  That  he  will  be  embraced  by 
those  who  have  embraced  lust  and  sin  before  him! 
But  more  than  thi^,  he  returned  love  for  love;  hay, 
a  thousand  times  more.  Christian,  thou  wilt  be  then 
brimful  of  love;  yet,  love  as  much  as  thou  canst, 
thou  shalt  be  ten  thousand  times  more  beloved. 
Were  the  arms  of  the  Son  of  God  opeii  upon  the 
cross,  and  an  open  passage  made  to  his  heart  by  the 
spear,  and  will  not  his  arm  and  heart  be  open  to  thee 
in  glory  ?  Did  he  begin  to  love  before  thoU  lovedst, 
and  will  not  he  continue  now  ?  Did  he  love  thee,  an 
eiiemy  ?  Thee,  a  sinner  ?  Thee,  who  even  loathedst 
thyself?  and  own  thee,  when  thou  didst  disclaim  thy- 
self? And  will  he  not  now  immeasurably  love  thee, 
a  son?  Thee,  a  perfect  saint?  Thee  who  returnest 
some  love  for  love  ?  He  that  in  love  wept  over  the 
old  Jerusalem  when  near  its  ruin,  with  what  love 
will  he  rejoice  over  the  new  Jerusalem  in  her  glory  ! 
Christian,  believe  this,  and  think  on  it;  thou  shalt 
be  eternally  embraced  in  the  arms  of  that  love,  which 

*  1  Jojhn  iv.  l6. 



was  from  everlasting,  and  will  extend  to  everlasting; 
— of  that  love  which  brought  the  Son  of  God's  love 
from'heaven  to  earth,  from  earth  to  the  cross,  from 
the  cross  to  the  grave,  from  the  grave  to  glory «  that 
love,  which  was  weary,  hungry,  tempted,  scorned, 
scourged,  buffeted,  spit  upon,  crucified,  pierced; 
which  did  fast,  pray,  teach,  heal,  weep,  sweat,  l)leed, 
die ; — that  love  will  eternally  embrace  thee.  When 
perfect  created  love,  and  most  perfect  uncreated  love, 
meet  together,  it  will  not  be  like  Joseph  and  his 
brethren,  who  lay  upon  one  another's  necks,  weeping; 
it  will  bejoving  and  rejoicing, not  loving  and  sorrowing; 
Yet  It  will  make  Satan's  court  ring  with  the  news, 
that  Joseph's  brethren  are  come,  and  that  the  saints 
are  arrived  safe  in  the  bosom  of  Christ,  out  of  the 
reach  of  hell  for  ever :  Nor  is  there  any  such  love  as 
David's  and  Jonathan's,  breathing  out  its  last  into 
sad  lamentations  for  a  forced  separation.  Know  this, 
believer,  to  thy  everlasting  comfort,  if  those  arms 
have  once  embraced  thee,  neither  sin,  nor  hell,  can 
get  thee  thence  for  ever.  Thou  hadst  not  to  deal 
with  an  inconstant  creature,  but  with  him  with  whom 
is  no  variableness,  nor  shadow  of  turning*  His  love 
to  thee  will  not  be  as  thine  was  on  earth  to  him, — • 
seldom,  and  cold,  up  and  down.  He  that  would  not 
cease  nor  abate  his  love,  for  all  tbine  enmity,  unkind 
neglects,  and  churlish  resistanceSj  can  he  cease  to 
love  thee,  when  he  hath  made  thee  truly  lovely?  He 
that  keepeth  thee  so  constant  in  thy  love  to  him,  that 
thou  canst  challenge  tribulation,  distress,  persecution, 
famine,  nakedness,  peril,  or  sword,  to  separate  thy 
love  from  Christ,  how  much  more  will  himself ,  be 
constant  ?f  Indeed  thou  mayest  be  persuaded  that 
neither  death,  nor  life,  nor  angels,  nor  principalitiesy 
*  James  i.  17.  f  Rom.  viii,  35. 

THE   saints'   rest.  19 

'nor  powers,  nor  things  present,  nor  things  to  come,  nor 
height,  nor  depth,  nor  any  other  creatvre,  shall  be 
able  to  separate  ns  from  the  love  of  God  which  is  in 
Christ  Jesus  our  Lord.*  And  now  are  we  not  left 
in  the  apostle's  admiration,  PFhat  shall  we  say  to 
these  things  l'\  Infinite  love  must  needs  be  a  mystery 
to  a  finite  capacity.  No  wonder  angels  desire  to  look 
into  this  mystery.  $  And  if  it  be  the  study  of  saints 
here,  to  know  the  breadth,  and  length,  and  depth, 
and  height,  of  the  love  of  Christ,  which  passeth 
knowledge ;^  the  saints'  everlasting  rest  must  consist 
in  the  enjoyment  of  God  by  love. 

^  13.  Nor  hath  joy  the  least-share  in  this  fruition. 
'Tis  that  which  all  the  former  lead  to,  and  conclude 
in ;  even  the  incbnceivable  complacency  which  the 
blessed  feel  in  their  seeing,  knowing,  loving,  and 
being  beloved  of  God.  This  is  the  white  stone  which 
no  man  kmoweth,  saving  he  that  receiveth  it:\l  Surely 
this  is  the  joy  which  a  stranger  doth  not  intermeddle 
with.^  All  Christ's  ways  .of  mercy  tend  to,  and  end 
in  the  saints'  joys.  He  wept,  sorrowed,  suffered, 
that  they  might  rejoice;  he  sendeth  the  Spirit  to  be 
their  comforter;  he  multiplies  promises;  he  discovers 
their  future  happiness,  that  their  joy  may  be  full.** 
He  opens  to  thetn  the  fountain  of  living  waters,  that 
they  may  thirst  no  more,  and  that  it  may  spring  up 
in  them  to  everlasting  life.ff  He  chastens  them, 
that  he  may  give  them  rest.Xt  He  makes  it  their 
duty  to  rejoice  in  him  alway,  and  again  commands 
them  to  rejoice.^^  He  never  brings  them  into  so 
lovi'  a  conditioa,  wherein  he  does  not  leave  them 
more  cause  of  joy  than  sorrow.     And  hath  the  Lord 

*  Rom.  viii.  38,  39.  f  Rom.  viii.  31.       J  1  Pet.  i.  12. 

§  Eph.  iii.  18,  19.  ||  Rev.  ii,  17.  II  Prov.  xiv.  10. 

**  John  xvi.  24.  ft  John  iv.  10. 14.  JJ  Psal.  xciv,  12, 13. 
S§  Phil.  iv.  4. 


such  a  care  of  our  comfort  here  ?  O  what  mil  that 
joy  be,  where  the  so|]l,  being  perfectly  priepared 
for  joy,  and  joy  prepared  by  Christ  for  the  soul,  it 
shall  be  our  work^  our  business  eternally  to  rejoice! 
It  seems  the  saints'  joy  shall  be  greater  than  the 
damned's  torment ;  for  their  torment  is  the  torment 
of  creatures,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angeki* 
but  our  joy  is  the  jay  of  our  Lord-f  The  same  ghnf 
which  the  Father  gave  the  Son,  the  Son  hath  given 
them,  +  to  sit  with  him  in  his  throne,  even  as  he  is  set 
down  with  his  Father  in  his  throne.^  Thou,  pooir 
soul,  who  prayest  for  joy,  waitest  for  joy,  complaiuest 
for  want  of  jr>y,  longest  for  joy  ;  thou  then  shall  have 
full  joy  as  much  as  thou  caDst  hold,  and  more  than 
ever  thou  thoughtfist  on,  or  thy  heart  desired.  In 
the  mean  time  walk  carefully,  watch  constantly,  and 
then  let  God  measure  out  to  thee  thy  times  and  degrees 
of  joy.  ft  may  be  he  keeps  them  till  thou  hastmore 
peed.  Thou  badst  better  lose  thy  comfort  than  thy 
safety.  If  thou  shouldst  die  full  of  fears  and  sorrows, 
it  will  be  but  a  momeqt;  and  they  are  all  gone,  and 
eoncluded  in  joy  inconceivable.  As  the  joy  of  the 
hypocrite,  so  the  fear$  of  the  upright  are  but  far  a 
moment.  God's  anger  endureth  but  a  moment;  in 
Usfaieour  is  life;  weeping  may  endure  for  a  night, 
hut  joy  Cometh  in  the  iimrning\  O  blessed  morning! 
Poor,  humble,  drpoping  soul,  how  would  it  fill  thee 
>fvitb  joy  now,  if  a  voice  from  heaven  should  tell 
thee  of  the  love  of  God,  the  pardon  of  thy  siiis,  and 
assure  thee  of  thy  part  in  these  joys  }  What  then 
will  thy  joy  be,  when  thy  actual  possession  shall 
convince  thee  of  thy  title,  artd  thou  sh?iU  be  in  heaveii 
before  thou  art  well  awape? 

*  JVlatt.  XXV.  41.        t  Matt.  xxy.  21.       *    J  Johij  xvii.  22. 
§  Rev.  iii.  21.  [|  Job  xx.  5.    Psalm  xxx.  5. 

THE  saints'   rest.  21 

§  14.  And  it  is  not  thy  joy  only ;  it  is  a  mutual 
joy,  as  well  as  a  mutual  love.  Is  there  Joy  in  heaven 
at  thy  cooversion,  and  will  there  be  none  at  thy 
glorification?  Will  not  the  angels  welcoiaae  thee 
thither,  and  congratulate  thy  safe  arrival  ?-^ — ^Yea, 
it  is  the  joy  of  Jesus  Christ;  for  now  he  hath  the  esid 
of  his  undertaking ;  labour,  BujSTering,  dying,  wheQ 
we  have  our  joys ;  when  he  is  glorified  in  his  saints, 
und  admired  in  all  them  that  believe  ;*  when  he  sees 
o^  the  travail  of  hisjoul,  and  is  satisfied.^  This  is 
Christ's  harvest  when  he  shall  reap  the  fruit  of  his 
labours;  and  it  will  not  repent  him  cooe^^itig  his 
sufferings,  but  he  will  rejoice  over  his  pucchased 
inheritance,  and  his  people  will  rejoice  in  him.  Yea, 
the  Father  himself  puts  on  joy  too,  in  our  joy.  A« 
we  grieve  his  spirit,  %  ,  and  weary  him  with  our 
iniquities,^  so  is  he  rejoiced  in  our  good.  O  how 
quickly  does  he  now  spy  a  returning  prodigal,  even 
qfitr  qff'i  How  does  he  run  and  meet  him !  And 
with  what  compassion  Aoes  he  fadl  on  his  neck,: and 
kiss  him,  and  put  on  him  the  best  robe,  and  a  ring  on 
his  hand,  and  shoes  on  his  feet,  and  kills  the  fatted 
oalf,  to  eat,  and  be  merry. \\  This  is  indeed  a  happy 
meeting;  but  nothing  to  the  embracing  and  joy  of 
that  last  and  great  meeting :  yea,  more ;  as  God  doth 
mutually  love  and  joy,  so  he  makes  this  his  rest,  as 
it  is  our  rest.  What  an  eternal  sabbatistn,  when  the 
work  of  redemption,  sanctification,  preservation, 
glorification,  is  all  finished,  and  perfected  for  ever! 
The  Lord  thy  God  in  the  midst  of  thee  is  mighty.  He 
will  save.  He  xoill  rejoice  over  thee  with  joy,  He  will 
rest  in  his  love,  He  will  joy  over  thee  with  singing.^ 

*  2  Thess.  i.  10.  t  I^a.  liii.  1.  %  Epb.  iv.  30. 

g  Isa.  xliii.  24.  H  Luke  xv.  20—23.    IT  Zeph.  iii.  17. 

S^  THE    NATtTRE    OF    THt    SAINTS'   BEST. 

Well  may  we  then  rejoice  in  our  God  with  joy,  and 
fest  in  our  love,  and  joy  in  him  with  singing. 

§  15.  Alas  !  my  fearful  heart  scarce  dares  proceed. 
Methinks  I  hear  the  Almighty's  voice  saying  to  me, 
'W'ho  is  this  that  darkeneth  counsel  hy  words  without 
hnowledge  ?*  But  pardon  thy  servant,  O  Lord/I  have 
fiot  pried  into  unrevealed  things.  I  bewail  that  my 
apprehensions  are  so  dull,  my  thoughts  so  mean, 
my  affections  so  stupid,  and  my  expressions  so  low 
and  unbeseeming  such  a  glory.  I  have  oHly  heard 
hy  the  hearing  of  the  ear:  Oh  let  thy  servant  see 
thee,  and  possess  these  joys ;  and  then  shall  I  have 
more  suitable  conceptions,  and  shall  give  thee  fuller 
gibry ;  I  shall  abhor  my  present  self,  and  disclaim  and 
renounce  all  these  imperfections.  I  have  uttered  thai 
I  understood  not ;  things  too  wonderful  for  me,  which 
I  knew  not.^  Yet  I  believed,  and  therefore  have  I 
spoken.'^  What,  Lord,  canst  thou  expect  from 
dust,  but  levity  ?  or  from  corruption,  but  defilement? 
Though  the, weakness  and  irreverence  be  the  fruit  of 
my  own  corruption,  yet  "the  fire  is  from  thine  altar, 
and  the  work  of  thy  commanding.  I  looked  not  into 
thy  ark,  nor  put  forth  my  hand  unto  it,  without  thee. 
fFiiish  away  these  stains  also  in  the  blood  of  the  Lamb. 
Imperfect,  or  none,  must  be  thy  service  here.  O  take 
^hy  Son's  excuse,  the  Spirit  is  willing,  but  the  flesh 
is  weaki  ^ 

*  Job  xxxviii.  2        f  Job  xlii.  3.  5,  6.  :j;  2  Cor.  iv.  13. 

§  Matt.  xxvi.  41. 



The  great  Preparatives  to  the  Saints'  Rest. 

§  }.  The,  happiness  of  Christians  in  having  a  way  open  intp 
paradise.  There  are  four  things  which  principally  prepare  the 
•way  to  enter  into  it;  §  2,  3.  particularly,  (1.)  The  gloriouii 
iappearing  of  Christ;  §4.  (2,)  The  general  resurrection ;  §5 — 8. 
(3.)  The  last  judgment;  §  9,  10.  and  (4.)  The  saints'  corona- 
tion ;  §  1 1.  Transition  to  the  subject  of  the  next  chapter. 

§  1.  The  passage  (tf  paradise  is  not  now  so  blocked 
up,  as  when  the  law  and  curse  reigned.  Wherefore 
finding,  beloved  Christians,  a  new  and  living  way 
consecrated  for  us  through  the  vail,  that  is  to  say,  the 
flesh  of  Christ,  by  zvhich  we  may  with  boldness  enter 
into  the  holiest,  I  shall  ^aw  near  with  fuller  assurance.* 
And  finding  the  flaming  sword  removei,  shall  look 
again  into  the  paradise  of  our  God.  And  because  I 
know  that  this  is  no  forbidden  fruit,  and  withal  that 
it  is  good  far  food,  and  pleasant  to  the  spiritual  eyes, 
and  a. tree  to  be  desired  to  make  owe  truly  wise  and 
happy ;  I  shall,  through  the  assistance  of  the  Spirit, 
take  and  eat  thereof  myseM,  and  give  to  you  according 
to  my  power,  that  you  may  eat.  The  porch  of  this 
temple  is  exceeding  glorious,  and  the  gate  of  it  is 
called  Beautiful.  Here  are  four  things,  as  the  four 
corners  of  this  porch.  Here  is  the  most  glorious 
coming  and  appearance  of  the  Son  of  God; — that 
great  work  of  Jesus  Christ  in  raising  our  bodies  from 
the  dust,  and  uniting  them  again  to  the  soul ;— the 
public  and  solemn  process  at  their  judgment,  where 
they  shall  first  themselves  be  acquitted  and  justified, 
and  then  with  Christ  judge  the  world  ;  together  with 
their  solemn  coronation,  and  receiving  the  kingdom. 

*  Heb.  X.  19,  20.  22. 


^  2.  (1.)  The  most  glorious  coming  and  appearance 
of  the  Son  of  God  may  well  be  reckoned  in  his 
people's  glory.  For  their  sake^he  came  into  the  world, 
suffered,  died,  rose,  ascended ;  and  for  their  sake  it 
is'  that  be  will  return.  To  this  end  teill  Christ  come 
agodn  to  receive  his  people  unto  Mmself,  that  where 
he  is,  there  they  may  be  also.*  The  bridegroom's 
departure  was  not  upon  divorce.  He  did  not  leave 
us  with  a  purpose  to  return  no  more.  He  hath  left 
pledges  enough  to  assure  us  to  the  contrary.  We 
have  his  word,  his  many  promises,  his  sacraments, 
which  show  forth  his  death  till  he  co'me;^  and  his 
Spirit,  to  direct,  sanctify,  and  comfort,  till  he  returii. 
We  have  frequent  tokens  of  love  from  him,  to  shovr 
us,  he  foTgefs  not  his  promise^  nor  us.  We  daily- 
behold  the  forerunners  of  ills  cbming,  foretold  by 
bimself.  We  see  the f,g-tree putteth forth  leaves,  and 
therefore  know  that  summer  is  nigh.  ^  Though  the 
riotous  world  say,  my  Lord  delayefh  his  cbming;  §  yet 
fet  the  saints  lift  up  their  heads,  for  theif-  redenqftioH 
dtaweth  nigh.\\  Alas,  fellow  Christians,  what  should 
we  do  if  our  Lord  should  not  return?  What  a  case 
are  we  here  left  in  !  What,  leave  us  in  the  midst  of 
wolves,^  and  among  lions,**  a  generation  of  vipers, ^^ 
and  here  forget  us  ?  Did  he  buy  us  so  dear,  and  then 
leave  us  sinning,  suffering,  groaning,  dying  daily,  and 
will  he  come  no  more  to  us  ?  It  cannot  be. — This  is 
like  our  unkind  dealing  with  Christ,  who,  when  we 
feel  ourselves  warm  in  the  world,  care  not  for  comiijg 
to  him  :  but  this  is  not  like  Christ's  dealing  with  us. 
He  that  would  come  to  suffer,  will  Surely  come  to 
triumph.     He  that  would  come  to  purchase,  will 

*  John  xiv.  8.  f   1  Cor.  xi.  26,  %  Matt.  xxiv.  32» 

§  Matt.  xxiv.  48.        ||  Luke  xxi.  28.  f  Matt.  x.  l6. 

**  Psal.  Ivii.  4.  ff  Matt.  iij.  7. 

TO   THE    saints'   REST.  25 

surely  come  to  possess.  Where  else  were  all  our 
hopes  ?  what  were  become  of  our  faith,  our  prayers, 
our  tears,  and  our  waiting?  What  were  all  the 
patience  of  the  saints  worth  to  them  ?  Were  we  not 
left  of  all  men  the  most  r^iserable?*  Christians, 
haith  Christ  made  us  forsake  all  the  world,  and  be 
forsaken  of  all  the  world  ?  to  hate  all,  and  be  hated 
of  all  ?  and  all  this  for  him,  that  we  might  have  him, 
instead  of  all  ?  And  will  he,  think  you,  after  all 
this,  forget  us,  and  forsake  us  himself  ?  Far  be  such 
a  thought  from  our  hearts  ?— But  why  staid  not  he 
with  his  people  while  he  was  here?  Why?  Was 
not  the  work  on  earth  done?  Must  he  not  take 
possession  of  glory  in  our  behalf?  Must  he  not 
intercede  with  the  JFather,  plead  his  sufferings,  be 
filled  with  the  Spirit  to  send  forth,  receive  authority, 
and  subdue  his  enemies?  Our  abode  here  is  short. 
If  he  had  staid  on  earth,  what  would  it  have  been  to 
enjoy  him  for  a  few  days,  and  then  die?  He  hath 
more  in, heaven  to  dwell  among;  even' the  spirits  of 
many  generations.  He  will  have  us  live  by  faith, 
and  not  by  sight. 

§  3.  O  fellow  Christians,  what  a  day  will  that  be, 
wheq  we,  who  have  been  kept  prisoners  by  sin,  by 
sinners,  by  the  grave,  shall  be  fetched  out  by  the 
Lord  himself!  It  will  not  he  such  a  coming  as  his 
first  was,  in  poverty  and  contempt,  to  be  spit  upon, 
and  buffeted,  and  crucified  again.  He  will  not  come^ 
O  careless  world !  to  be  slighted  and  neglected  by  you 
any  more.  Yet  that  coming  wanted  not  its  glory. 
Ifthe^heavenhf  host,,  for  the  celebration  of  his  nativity, 
must  praise  God;-f  with  what  shoutings  will  angels 
and  saints  at  that  day  proclaim  ghry  to  God,  peace, 
and  good  will  towgrds  men  !  If  a  star  must  lead  men 
*  Cor.  sv.  19.  t  Luke  ii.  M,  14. 



from  xemote  parts  of  tjie  world  to  come  to  morshipa 
child  in  a  maager  ;*  how  will  the  glory  of  his  next 
appearing  cotistataiaall  the  world  to  ackaowle^je  hie 
auvereigoty  1   li,  riding  on  an  c^ss,  he  eoter  Jerusalem 
with  hosannas,-)-  with  what  peace,  and  glony  will  he 
come  toward  the  New  Jetosaleiai !    If,  when  he  was 
io  the  form  of  a  servant,^  they  cry  out,  What  manner 
ofv  man  is.  Ms,  thai  even  t4ie  tuinds  and  the  sea  obey 
him  ?^  what  wjll  they  say.  when  they,  shall  see  him 
a&ming  in  his  glory.,  and  the  heavens  and  the'  earth 
obey  him?     Then  shaU  ail  the  ivihes  of  the  earth 
movm.\\    To  thjnk  and  speak  of  that  day  with  horror^ 
(Joith  well  beseem  the  impenitent  sinner,  but  Ul  the 
believing  saint.     Shairthe  wicked  behold  him,  and 
cry,  "  Yonder  is  he  whose  blood  we  neglected,  whose 
"  grace  we  resisted,    whose  counsels   we  refused, 
"whose  government  we  cast  off!"    And  shaH  not 
the  saints  with  inconceivable  gJadnessi,  cry,  "  Yoqder 
"  is   he  whose  blood    redeemed,  us,    whose  Spirit 
"cleansed  us,  whose  law  did  goweraj  us^  in  whom  we; 
"triiisted,  and  !be  hath  not  •disceivedi  out_  trust ;  for 
"  whom  we  long  waited,  and  now  we  see  we  have 
"-not  waited  in  vemw!    O  cmtsed  coiaiuptibn!  that 
"  wpuld  have  bad  us  turn  to  the  world,  andipresent 
"thingsjiand  say,  Whjy'^hauld  we  wait  for  the  Lord 
"  am/,  lQiig^^%     Now;  we  see,,  blessed  are  ,all  they 
"^  that  wait  for  him''**      And  now,  iClwistiams, 
should  we  not  put  up  that  petitiou  heartily,  thy 
hangdmi  come?  the  Spirit  dnd^ the  bride  say.  Come: 
4nd  let  him  that  hearethy  and  reudethiStty,  come.  Our 
Lord  himself  says,  Surely  Icomey^tmM^Amen. 
Even  SO,  come.  Lord  Jesus.'\^ 

*  Mdtt.  ii.  2.  t  Matt.  21.  5—9.         J,  Phil.  ii.  7., 

§  Matt.  viii.  27.       '      ||  Matt.  xxiv.  30.  f '  2  Kings  vi.  33.. 

**  Isa.  XXX.  18.  tt  Rev.  xxii>17>  2Qi 

TO    THE    saints'  «EST.  -27 

^  4.  (a.)  Another  thing  tliat  leads  to  paradise,  is 
that  great  work  of  Jesiis  Chtist,  in  raising  our  bcjdies 
from  the  dust,  and  uniting  them  again  onto  the  so«iU 
A  wonderful  effect  of  infiniie  power  and  lo-^re !    Yea> 
wonderful  indeed,  says  unbelief^  if  it  be  true.  What;! 
shall  all  these  scattered  bones,  and  dust  beconfl-e  a 
man  ?— Let  me  with  reverence  plead  for  God  for  that 
power  whereby  I  hopie'  to  arise.     What  beareth  the 
massy  body  of  the  eaith  ?  What  limits  tfee  vast  ocean 
of  the  waters?    Whence  is  that  constant  ebbing  and 
flowing  of  the  tides  ?    How  many  times  biggB*  than 
all  the  eafth'  ils  th^  sun,  that  glorious  body  of  l^fa>k? 
Is  it  not  as  easy  to  raiis^  th«  deady  as  to  nitake  heaven^ 
and,  earth,  and  all  of  nothing  P-^a^Loerk  tiot  on  the  dead 
bones,  and  dust,  and  difficulty,  but  at  thte  promise; 
Contentedly  commit  these  cat^ases  to  a  prison,  that 
shall  not  long  contain  them.     Let  us  lie  down  in 
peace,  and  take  our  rest  •  it  will  hot  be  an  everlasting 
night,  nor  endless  sleep.     If  tmcht^img  be  the  thing 
thou  fearfefst;   it  is   that  thou   mayfest   have  better 
clathvng.*     If  to  be  turned  out  of  doors  be  the  thing 
thou  fearest ;  remember,  that  when  the  earthly  home 
bfthis  tabernacle  is  dmohed,  thou  hast  a  building  of 
God,  an  house  not  made  vbith  hands,  et^ttal  in  the 
heavens,  f     Lay  down  cheerfully  this  lump  of  cor- 
ruption; thou  shalt  undoubtedly  receive  it  again  itt 
incorruption.     Lay  down  freely  this  terrestrial,  this 
natural  body  5  thou  shalt  receive  it  again  a  celestial, 
a  spiritual  body.    Though  tho^u  lay  it  down  with  great 
dishonour;  thou  shalt  receive  it  in  glory.     Though 
thou  art  separated  from  it  through  weakness ;  it  shall 
be  raised  again  in  mighty  power.     In  a  momewt,  in 
the  twinkling  of  an  eye,  at  the  last  trump :  for  the 
trumpet  shall  sound,  and  the  dead  shall  he  rmsed 
*  3  Cor.  V.  4.  t  2  Cor.  v.  I. 


incorruptible,  and  we  shall  be  changed.*     The  dead 
in  Christ  shall  risejirst.     Then  they  who  are  alive 
and  remdin,  shall  be  caught  up  together  with  them  in 
the  clouds,  to  meet  the  Lord  in  the  air.  f .    Triumph 
now,  O  Christian,  in    these   promises ;   thou  shalt 
shortly  triumph' in  their  performance.      This  is  the 
day  which  the  Lord  will  make ;  we  shall  rejoice  and 
he  glad  in  it.%     The  grave  that  could  not  keep  our 
Lord,  cannot  keep  us.     He  arose  for  us,  and  by  the 
same  power  will  cause  us  to  arise.     For  if  we  believe 
that  Jesus  died,  and  rose  again,  even  so  them  also  who 
sleep  in  Jesus,  will  God  bring  with  Mm.  ^  ,  Let  us 
never  look  at  the  grave,  but  let  us  see  the  resurrection 
beyond   it.      Yea,  let   us  ie  stedfast,   immoveable, 
always  abounding  in  the  work  of  the  Lord,  for  as 
much  as  zve  knoxo  our  labour  is  not  in  vain  in  the  Lord.  |( 
§  5.  (3.)  Part  of  this  prologue,  to  the  saints'  rest, 
is  the  public  and  solemn  process  at  their  judgmentj 
where  they  shall  first'  themselves  be  acquitted  and 
justified,   and   then   with   Christ  judge   the  worJd. 
Young  and  old,  of  all  estates  and  nations,  that  ever 
were  from  the  creation  to  that  day,  must  here  come 
and  receive  theirdoom.     O  terrible !    O  joyful  day  ! 
Terrible  to  those  that  have  forgot  the  coming  of  their 
Lord  !    Joyful  to  the  saints,  whose  waiting  and  hope 
was  to  see  this  day  1  Then  shall  the  world  behold  the 
goodness  and  severity  of  God;  on  them  who  perish, 
severity;  but  to  his  chosen,  goodness.^     Every  one 
must  give  an  account  of  his  stewardship.**     Every 
talent  of  time,  health,  witjinercies,  afflictions,  means, 
warnings,  must  be  reckoned  for.     The  sins  of  youth, 
those  which   they   had  forgotten  and   their  secret 

*  1  .Cor.  xy.  42— r44.  52.    f  1  Thess,  iv.  l6,  17.     J  Psal.  cxviii.  24, 
§  1  Thess.  iv,  14'  ||  I  Cor.  xv.  58.  f  Rom.  xi,  22, 

**  Luke  xvi.  2, 

TO    THE    saints'   REST.  29 

sins,  shall  all  be  laid  open  before  angels  and  men. 
They  shall  see  the  Lord  Jesus,  whom  they  neglected, 
whose  word  they  disobeyed,  whose  ministers  they 
abused,  whose  servants  they  hated,  now  sitting  to 
judge  them.  Their  own  consciences  shall  cry^out 
against  them,  and  call  to  their  remembrance  all  their 
misdoings.  Which  way  will  the  wretched  sinner 
look  ?  Who  can  conceive  the  terrible  thoughts  of  his 
heart?  Ndw'  the  world  cannot  help  him;  his  old 
companions  cannot ;  the  saints  neither  can  nor  will. 
Only  the  Lord  Jesus  can;  but,  there  is  the  misery, 
he  will  not.  Time  was,  sinner,  when  Christ  would, 
and  you  would  not ;  now,  fein  would  you,  and  he 
will  not.  ;A11  in  vain  to  cry  to  the  mountains  and 
rocks.  Jail  on  its,  and  hide  its  from  the  face  of  him 
that  sitteth  upon  the  throne  ;*  iox  thou  hast  the  Lord 
of  mountains  and  rocks  for  thine  enemy,  whose 
voice  they  will  obey,  and  not  thine.  /  charge  thee 
therefore  before  God,  and  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who 
shall  judge  the  quick  and  the  dead  at  his  appearing 
and  his  kingdom,^  that  thou  set  thyself  seriously  to 
ponder  on  these  things. 

§  6.  But  why  tremblest  thou,  O  humble,  gracious 
soul  ?  He  that  would  not  lose  one  Noah  in  a  common 
deluge,  nor  overlook  one  Lot  in  Sodom ;  nay,  that 
could  do  nothing  till  he  went  forth ;  will  he  forget 
thee  at  that  day  ?  The  Lord  knozveth  hoio  to  deliver 
the  godly  out  of  temptations,  and  to  reserve  the  unjust 
unto  the  day  of  judgment  to  he  punished^  He 
knoweth  how  to  make  the  same  day  the  greatest 
terror  to  his  foes,  and  yet  the  greatest  joy  to  his  people. 
There  is  no  condemnation  to  them  that  are  in  Christ 
Jesus,  who  walk  not  after  the  flesh,  but  after  the 
spirit.      Pf^ho  shall  lay  any  thing  to  the  charge  of 

«  Rev.  vi.  6.  t  2  Tim.  iv.  1,  J  2  Pet.  ii,  9- 


Crqd's  elect  ?  Shall  the  law  ?  The  htm  of  the  spirit 
o/  life  in  Christ  Jesm^  hath  made  them  free  from  the 
taw  of  sin  and  death.  Or  shall  conscience?  The 
Spirit  itself  heasfieth  witness  with  their  spirit,  that 
they  are  the  chiUrm  of  Chd.  It  is  God  that  justifieth, 
who  is  he  tha:t  mndemneth  P*  If  our  Judge  condemn 
m  not,  who  shall?  He  that  said  to  the  adulterous 
woman,  Hath  no  man  rnhdem^ned  thee  P  Neither  do 
I;\  will  say  to  us  niore  faithfally  than  Peter  to  him, 
fhough  all  men  deny  thee,  or  condemA  thee,  /  will 
"Mt :  X  having  confessed  me  before  men,  thee  will  I  also 
confess  before  my  Father  who  is  in  heaven.  § 

§  7.  What  inexpressible  joy,  that  our  dear  Lord, 
who  loveth  our  souls,  and  whom  our  souls  love,  shall 
be  our  judge  !  Will  a  man  fear  to  be  judged  by  his 
dearest  friend  ?  Or  a  wife  by  her  own  husband  ? 
Christian,  did  Christ  come  down,  afid  suffer,  and 
weep,  and  bleed,  and  die  fbr  thee,  and  will  he  now 
condemn  thee?  Was  he  judged,  condemned,  and 
exiecuted  in  thy  stead,  and  now  will  he  condemn  thee 
himself?  Hath  he  done  most  of  the  work  already,  in 
redeeiningj  regenerating,  sanctifying,  and  preserving 
thee,  and  will  he  now  undo  all  again?  Well,  then, 
let  the  terror  of  that  day  be  never  so  great,  surely 
our  Lord  can  mean  no  ill  to  us  in  all.  Let  it  make 
the  devils  tremble,  and  the  wicked  tremble;  but  it 
shall  make  us  leap  for  joy.  It  must  n^eds  affect  us 
deeply  with  the  sense  of  our  mercy  and  happiness,  to 
see  the  most  of  the  world  tremble  with  terror,  while 
we  triumph  with  joy ;  to  hear  them  doomed  to  ever- 
lasting flames,  when  we  are  proclaimed  heirs  of  the 
kingdom ;  to  see  ourneighbours  that  lived  in  the  same 
towns,  came  to  the  same  congregationj  dwelt  in  the 

*  Rom.  viii.  1,  2.  16.  33,  34.  t  Joli"  viii.  10^  J 1. 

X  Matt,  xxvi,  33.  35,  §  Matt.  Xi  32. 

TO   THE  saints'   REST.  31 

same  houses,  and  vy-ere  esteemed  more  honourable  io 
the  world  than  ourselves,  now  by.  the  Searcfeer' .of 
hearts  eternally  separated.  This,  with  the  gceasfi 
magnificence  and  dreadfulness  of  the  day,  the  A-postle 
pathetically  expresses :  It  is  a  righteous  thmg  with 
God  to  recompense  tribulation  ta  them  that  trouble 
you;  and  to  you  who  are  troubled,  rest  with  us,  when 
the  Lord  Jesus  shall  be  revealed  from  heaven  zvith 
his.  mighty  angels,  in  flaming  fljre  taking  vengeance 
on  them  that  know  not  God,  and  that  obey  not  the 
gospelsqf' our  Lord  Jesus  Christ:  who  shall  be  punished 
with  everlasting  destruction  from  the  presence  of  the 
Lord,  and  from  the  glory  of  his  power;  when  he  shall 
come  to  be  glorified  in  his  saints,  and  to  be  admired  in 
all  them  that  believe  in  that  day.* 

§  8.  Yet  more>  we  shall  be  so  far  from  the  dread 
of  that  judgment,  that  ourselves  shall  becgme  ithe 
judges.  Christ  will  take  bis  people,  as  it  were,  into 
commissioR  with  himself,  and  they  shall  sit  .and 
approve  hip  righteous  judgment.  Do  ye  not  know 
that  the  saints  will  judge  the  world?  Nay,  know  ye 
not  that  me  shall  judge  angels  Pf  Were  it  not  for 
the  word  of  Christ  that  speaks  it,  this  advancement 
would  seem  incredible,  and  the  language  arrogant. 
Even  Enjoch,  the  seventh  from  A,ddm,  prophesied  this,, 
saying.  Behold  the  Lord  cometh.  with  ten  thousand 
nf  his  saints, .  to  execute  judgment  upon  all,  and  ta 
convince  all  that  are  ungodly  amongst  them,  of  all 
their  ungodly  deeds  which  they  have  ungpdlih/  com- 
mitted, and  of  all  their  hard  speeches  which  ungodly 
sinners  have  spoken  against  him.X  Thus  shall  the 
saints  be  honoured,  and  the  upt-ighf  shall  have 
dominion  in  the  morning.^    O  that  the  careless  world 

»  2  Thes?.  i.  6— 10.  f  1  Cor.  vi.  2»3. 

+  Jude  14, 1;5.  §■  Psalm  xlix.  14. 


fsere  wise,  that  they  understood  this,  that  they  rjpoula 
consider  their  latter  endJ^  That  they  would  be  now 
of  the  same  mind  as  they  will  be,  when  they  shall  see 
the  heavens  pass  away  with  a  great  noises  and  the 
elements  mblt  with  ferveni  heat,  the  earth  also,:  and 
the  works  that  are  therein,  bwrnt  up  !  When  all  shall 
be  on  fire  about  their  ears,  and  all  earthly  glory 
consumed.  For  the  heavens  and  the  earth  which  are 
now,  are  reserved  unto Jire  against  the  day  of  judgment, 
and  perdition  of  ungodly  men.  Seeing  then  that  all 
these  things  shall  be  dissolved,  what  manner  of  persons 
ought  ye  to  he  in  all  holy  conversation  and  gqdliness, 
looking  for  and  hasting  unto  the  coming  of  the  day 
of  God,  wherein  the  heavens  being  on  fire  shall  be 
dissolved,  and  the  elements  shall  melt  with  fervent 
heat.-f         ,  s 

§  9.  (4.)  The  last  preparative  to  the  saints'  rest  is 
their  solemn  coironation,  and  receiving  the  kingdom. 
For,  as  Christ,  their  Head,  is  anointed  both  King 
and  Priest,  so  under  him  are  his  people  made  unto 
.  God  both  kings  and  priests,  to  reign,  and  to  offer 
praises  for  ever.  J  The  crown  of  righteousness,  which 
was  laid  up  for'  them,  shall  by  the  Lord  the  righteous 
Judge  be  given  them  at  that  day,\  They  have  beeh 
faithful  unto  death,  and  therefore  he  will  give  them  a 
crown  of  life.  \\  And  according  to  the  improvement 
of  their  talents  here,  so  shall  their  rule  and  dignity 
be  enlarged.^  They  are  not  dignified  with  empty 
titles,  but  real  dominion.  Christ  will  grant  them  to 
sit  with  him  in  his  throne;**  and  will  give  them 
power  over  the  nations,  even  as  he  received  of  his 
Father ;  and  he  will  give  them  the  morning-star,  ff 

*  Deut.  xxxii.  29.      f  2  Pet-  '■'•  7-  Hj  12.      J  Rev.  v.  10. 

§  2  Tim.  iv.  8.  \\  Rev.  ji.  10.     .  If  Matt.  xxv.  21.  23. 

**  Rev.  iii.  31.  ft  Rev.  ii.  26—28. 

OF   THE   saints'   REST.  33 

The  Lord  himself  will  give  theitn  possession  with 
these  applauding  expression's:  Welt  done,  gddd  and 
faithful  Servant ;  thmi  hast  hem  faithful  aver  a  few 
things,  I  will  make  thee  ruler  over  many  things: 
enter  thou  into  the  joy  ofthjfLord.* 

§  10.  And  with  this  solenin  and  blessed  prpdama- 
tion,  shall  he  in  throne  them  ;  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my 
Father,  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  J6r  you  from 
the  foundatitin  of  the  world,  f     Every  word  is  full  bf 

life   and   joy.— Cor^e — this    is  the    holding  forth 

of  the  golden  sceptre,  to  warrant  our  approach  unto 
this  glory.  Come  now  as  near  as  you  will ;  fear  not 
the  Belhshemite's  judgment;  for  the  enmity  is  utterly 
abolished.'^  This  is  not  such  a  Cowie' as  we  were 
wont  to  hear,  Come,  take  up  your  cross  and  follow 
me.^  Though  that  was  sweet,  yet  this  much  more. 
— JTe  blessed — Blessed  indeed,  when  that  mouth 
shall  so  pronounce  us!  For  though  the  world  hath 
accounted  iis  accursed,  and  we  have  been  ready  to 
account  ourselves  so,  yet  certainly  those  that  he 
blesseth,  are  f/lessedT;  and  those  whom  he  curseth  only 

are  cursed,  and  his  blessing  cannot  be  reversed.  \\ 

Of  my  Father, — Blessed  in  the  Father's  love,  as  well 
as  the  Son's,  for  they  are  one.  The  Father  hath 
testified  his  love  in  theii;  election,  donsttioh  to  Christ, 
sending  of  Christ,  and  accepting  his  ransom,  as  the 

Son  hath  also  testified  his. Inherit -^^Q^ougev 

bondmen,  nor  servants  only,  nor  childreri  under  age, 
who  differ  not  in  possession,  but  only  in  title,  from 
servants.     But  now  we  are  heirs  of  the  MngdJf}m,^and 

joint  heirs  with  Christ. The  Mngdom^H o  less 

than  the  kingdom !  Indeed  to  be  King  of  MngSj  and 
Lard  of  hrds,  is  our  Lord's  own  -proper  title :    But 

*  Matt.  XXV,  23.    \       t  Matt.  xxv.  34,  .  J;,Epli.,ii.  15.^ 

■    §  IVIatt;  xvi.  ff4.  li  Numb.  xxii.  6.   xxiii.  30. 


^4      \  THE  EXCELLEItCIES  OF 

\^_bB  fiingsi^  and  to  reign  with  hi(m,  ist  ours,  The 
ii(^p^;iieot  of  this  kingdom  is,  as  t^^  light  of  this 
^n,  ^ach  have  the  whole,  and  the  rest  never  the 
\^s^,~ — Preparedjbr  yott^-God  is  the  alphfi,  as  lyell 
as  the  omega,  of  our  blessedness.  Eternal  love  hath 
Isfid,  the  foundation.  He  prepared  the  kingdom  for 
^s,  and  th^n  prepared  us  for:  the  kingdom.  This  i,s 
the  preparation  of  his  counsel  and  decree,  for  the 
execution  whereof,  Christ  was  vet  to  make  a  further 
preparation.-^ — For  you — ^Npt  for  believers  only  in 
gener^,  who,  without  individual  persons,  are  nobody; 

but  foif  you  personally. From  the  foundation,  oj 

the  worU.—^ot  only  from  the  promise  after  j^d^m^i 
fall,  but  from  eternity. 

\  11.  Thus  we  have  seen  the  Christian  safely 
landed  in  paradise,  and  conveyed  honourably  to  hi» 
rest.  Now  let  us  a  little  further  in  the  next  chapter^ 
view  those  mansions,  consider  their  privileges,  and 
see  whether  there  be  any  glory  like  unto  his  glory. 


The  jBxcellencies  of  the  Saint$^  Rest. 

%  I.  The  excellencies  of  the  Saints'  kest  are  enumerated.  §  3. 
(I.)  It  is  the  purchased  posse^iom  §  3,  4.  (2.)  A  free  gifi. 
§  5. -(3.)  Peculiar  Jto  saints.  §  6.  (4.)  An  association  with  saints 
«nd  angels.  §7  (5.)  ft'derivesits  joys  immediately,  from  God 
himself.  $  8.  (6.)  It  will  be  seasonable.  §  9.  (7.)  $nitable. 
§  10—12.  (8<)  Perfect,  without  sin  and  sneering.  §  13.  (9.) 
And  everlasting.  §  14.  The  chapter  concludes  with  a  serious 
address  to  the  reader. 

^  ^  1.  Let  u3  draw  a  little  nearer,  and  see  what 
further  excellencies  this  rest  affordeth.    The  Lord 

THE   saints'  rest.  35 

hide  us  in  tlie  cliefis  of-  the  rock,  and  cover  us  with 
the  hands  of  indulgent  grace,  while  we  approach  to 
take  this  view  1  This  rest  is  excellent  for  being— =-;- 
a  purchased  possession; — a  free  gift; — peculiar  to' 
saints ;-— an  association  with  saints  and  angels ; — yet 
deriving  its  joys  immediately  from  God ;— and  because 
it  will  be  a  seasonable, — suitable, — perfect,  and  eternal 

§  2.  (1.)  It  is  a  most  singular  h6noUr  of  the  saints' 
rest,  to  be  called  the  purchased  possession  ;*  that  is, 
the  fruit  of  the  blood  of  the  Son  of  God:  yea,  the 
chief  fruit,  the  end  and  perfection  of  iall  the  fruits  and 
efficacy  of  that  blood.  Greater  love  than  this  there 
is  not,  to  lay  down  the  life  of  the  lover.  And  to  have 
this  our  Redeemer  ever  before  our  eyes,  and  the 
liveliest  sense  and  freshest  remembrance  of  that  dying 
bleeding  love  still  upon  our  souls !  How  will  it  fill  our 
souls  with  perpetual  joy,  to  think  that  in  the  streams 
of  this  blood  we  haVfe  swam  throUgh  the  violence  of 
the  world,  the  snalres  of  Satan,  the  seducements 
of  flesh,  the  ciirse  of  the  law,  the  wrath  of  an  offended 
God,  the  accusations  of  a  guilty  conscience,  and  the 
vexing  doubts  and  fears  of  an  unbelieving,  heart,  and 
are  arrived  safe  at  the  presence  of  God  1  Now,  he 
cries  to  us,  is  it  nothing  to  you,  all  "jfe  that  pass  by  P 
behold,  and  see  if  there  he  any  sorrow  like  unto  my 
sorrow ;  f  and  we  scarce  te^d  the  mournful  voice, 
nor  scarce  turn  aside  to  vi^^  the  wounds.  But  then 
our  perfected  souls  wilFfeel,  and  flame  in  love  for 
love.  With  what  astonishing  apprehensions  will 
redeemed  saints  everlastingly  behold  their  blessed 
Redeemer  the  purchaser!  and  the  price,  together  with 
the  possession  !  Neither  will  the  view  of  bis  wounds 
of  love  renew  our  wounds  of  sorrow.  He,  whose  first 
*  £pfaes.  i.  14.  t  ^Bm.  i.  IS. 

36  THE    EXCEtLENpiES   OF 

words  jafter  his  resurrection  were  to  a  great  sinner,^  why >weepest  thou?*  knows  how  to  raise 
love  and  joy,  without  any  cloud,  of  sorrow,  or  storm 
of  tears.  If  any  thing  we  enjoy  was  purchased  with 
the  life  of  our  dearest  friend,  how  highly  should  we 
Value  it!. ..If  a  dying  friend  deliver  us  but  a  token  of 
his  love,, how  careful ly, dp  vve  preserve  it,  and  still 
remember  him  when  we  behold  it,  as  if  his  own  name 
were  written  on  it.  And  will  not,  then,  the  death 
and  blood  ,of  our  Lord  everkstrngly  sweeten  our 
ppsseis^ed  glory  ?  As  we  write  down  the  price  our 
goods  cost  UjS,  so  on  pur  righteousness  and  glojfy  write 
down  the  price, — the  precious  blooii  of  Christ.  His 
suiFeringSj  were -to  satisfy  the  justice  that  required 
blood,  and  to  ^ear  what  was  due  to  sinners,  and  so  to 
restore  them  to  the  life  they  lost,  and  the  happiness 
they  fell  from.  The  work  of  Christ's  redemption  so 
well  pleased  the  Father,  that  he  gave  him  power  to 
advance. his  chosen^  and , give  them  the  glory  which 
was  given,  to  himself;  and  all  this  acopjrding .  to  his 
good  pleasure,  and,  the  counsel  of  his  ownm^ill.  f 

§3.  (2.)  Another  pearl  in,  the  saints'  diadem  is, 
that  it  is  a  free  gift.  Th&se^wo,  purchased  and  free,  , 
are  the  chains  of  gold,  which  make  up  the  wreaths  for 
the  tops  of  the  pillars  in  the  temple  of  God.  $  ,;It  was 
desar  to  Christ,  but  free  to  us.  When  Christ  was  to, 
buy,  silver  and  g0;ld  were  nothi ng, worth ;  prayers 
and  tears  could  not  suffice,  nor  any  thing  below  bis 
blood  ;  but  our  buying  is  receiving ;  we  have  it  frecjly, 
withoifit  money,  and  without  price.^,  A  thankfuj 
acceptance  of  a  free  acquittance,  is  no  paying  of  the 
debt.  Here  is  all  free:  if  the.  Father  freely  give 
the  Son,  and  the  Son  freely,  pay  the  debt;  and  if  Godi 

*  John  XX.  3  5.  t  Eph.i.  9.  11. 

t  i  Kings  vii.  17.  §  Isaiah  Iv.  1. 

THE  saints'  rest.  87 

freejy  accepts  that  way  of  payment,  when  lie  might 
have  required  it  of  the  principal ;  ftnd  if  both  Father 
and  Son  freely^  offer  us  the  purchased  life  on  our 
cordial  acceptance,' and  if  they  freely  send  the  Spirit 
to  enable  us  to  accept,  what  is  here,- then ^  that  is  not 
fr6e?i  Oh  the  everlasting  admiration  that  must  needs 
surprise  the  saints  to  think  of  this  freeness  ! .  "  What 
did  the  Lord  see  in  me,  that  he  should  judge  me 
meet  for  sqch  a  state?,  That  I,  who  was  but  a  poor, 
diseased,  despised  wretch,  should  be  clad  in  the 
brightness  of  this  glofy  !  That  I,  a  creeping  worm, 
should  be  advanced  to  this  high  dignity  i  That  I,  who 
was  but  lately  groaning,  weeping,  dying,  should  now 
be  as  full  of  joy  as  my  heatt  can  hold  l.yea,  should 
be  taken  from  the-grave  where  I  was  rotting,  and 
from  the  dust  anddarknes^  where  I  seemed  forgotten, 
and  be  here  set  before  his  throne!  That  I  should  be 
taken,  with  Mprdecai,  frqm  captivity,  and  be  set  next 
unto  the  king!  and,  with  Daniel,  from  the  den,  to 
be  made  ruler  of  princes  and  provinces!  Who  can 
fjathom.  Hnmeasurable  love?"  If  worthiness  were 
our  condition  for  admittance,  we  might  sit  down 
and  weep  with  St.  John,  Because  no  man  was  found 
worthy.  But  the  Lion  of  the  Tribe  ofJudah  is  worthy ^ 
and  hath  prevailed  ;*  and  by  that  title  we  must  hold 
the  inheritance.  We  shall  offer  fhere  the  offering 
that  David  refused,  even  praise  for  that,  whicfi  cost  us 
nothing,  f  Here  our  commission  runs,  Jreely  ye  have 
received,  freely  give  ;X  but  Christ  has  dearly  bought, 
yet  freely  gives. 

§  4.  If  it  were  only  for  nothing,  and  without  our 
merit,,  the  wonder  were  great;  but  it  is  moreover 
against  our  merit,  and  against  our  long  endeavouring 
our  own  ruin.     What  an  astonishing  thought  it  will 

*  Rev.  V.  4,  5.  t  2  Sam.  xxiv.  24.  %  Matt.  x.  8. 



he,  to  think  of  the  unmeasurable  difference  between 
our  deservitigs  and  receivings !  Between  the  state  w6 
shouhl  hav^  been  in,  and  the  state  we  are  in !  To  look 
down,  upon  hell i  and  see  the  vast  difference  that 
grace: hath  made  between  us  and  them !    To  see  the 
ihhieritance  there,  which  we  were  born  to,  so  differeht 
from  that  which  vre  are  adopted^ol    What  pangs  of 
love  will  it  cause  within  us  to  think,  "  yonder*  was 
"  the  place)  that  sin  would  have  brought  me  to,  but 
^ithis  is  it  that  Christ  hath  brought  me  to^    Yonder, 
"  death  was  the  wages  of  my  dnr,  but  this  eternal  life 
*f  is  the  gift  of  God,  through  Jems  Christ  my  Lord!* 
"  Who  made  me  to  differ  Pf   Had  1  not  now  been  in 
"  those  flames,,  if  I  had  had  my  own  wayi  and  been 
"let  al9n€  to  my  own  will?     Should  I  not  have 
"  lingered  in  Sodom,  till  the  datnes  had  seized  on 
"  me,  if  Ood  had  not  in  mercy  brought  me  out  ?"% 
Doubtless  this  will  be  our  everlasting  admiration^ 
that  so  rich  a  crown  should  fit  the  head  of  so  vile  a 
sinner !   That  such  high  advancement;  and  such  long 
unfruitfulness  and  unkindness,  can  be  the  state  of 
the  same  person  !    And  that  such  vile  rebellions  can 
conclude  in  such  most  precious  joys !  But  no  thanks 
to  us,  nor  to  any  of  our  duties  and  labours,  much 
legs  to  our  neglects  and  laziness:  We  know  to  whom 
the  praise  is  due,  and  must  be  given  for  ever..  Indeed 
to  this  very  end  it  was,  that  infinite  wisdom  cast  the 
whole  design  of  man's  salvation  into  this  mould  of 
purchase  and  freeness,  that  the  love  and  joy  of  man 
might  be  perfected,  and  the  honour  of  grace  most 
highly  advanced;  that  the  thought  of  rftef it  might 
neither  cloud  the  one  nor  obstruct  the  other;  and 
that  on  these  two  hinges  the  gate  of  heaven  might  So  then  let  deserved  be  written  on  the  door 
*  Rom.  vi.  23.  t  ]  Cor.  iv.  7-  %  Gen.  xii.  16. 

THE  saints'  rest,  99 

of  hell,  but  on  tfae  door  of  heikven  aael  life,  tbe.  kvom 

^  5.  (3.)  This  rest  is  ^uliar  to  saints^  bebx^  to 
no  other  of  all  the  sons  of  men.    If  all  Egypt  had 
been  light,  the  Israelites  would  not  have  had  the  fess!} 
but  to  enjoy  that  light  alone,  while  theit  neighbouw 
lived  in  thick  darkness,  must  make  them  mioiceseiisihla 
of  their  privilege.    Distinguishing  mercy  affects  more 
than  any  mercy.     If  Pharaoh  bad  passed  as  safely  a« 
Israel,  the  Red  Sea  would  have  been  less  remembered. 
If  the  rest  of  the  world  liad  not  been  drowned,^  and  the 
fest  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrah  not  burned,  the  saving 
of  Noah  had  been  no  wonder,  nor  Lot's:  deliiveranc^ 
so  much  talked  of.     When:  one  is  enligteteoed,  and 
another  left  in  darkness;  one  reformed,  and  aOotfeea 
by  his  lust  enslaved;  it  makes  the  saints  cry  out^ 
Lord,  how  is  it  that  thou  toilt  tmnifest  thffis0lfu,nta  us, 
and  not  unto  the  world?*  When  the  piopteafe  iss  seat 
to. one  widm:  only  of  all  that  wer^  in  Israek.  awd  to 
cleanse  one  JVaaman  of  all  the  lepers,'^   the  mejicy 
is  more  observable.    That  will  surely  be  a  day  of 
passionate  sense  on  both  sides,  when  there  shall  he 
,  two  in  one  bed,  and  two  in  the  field ;  the  one  taken^ 
and  the  other  Itft.X     The  saints  shall  l«»Dk  down 
upon  the  burning  lake,  and  in  the  sense  of  their  o^wa 
happiness,   and  in  the  approbation  of  God's;  just 
proceedings,  they  shall  rejoice  and  sing.  Thou  art 
righteovsi  O  Lord,  who  wast,  art,  and  shoiH  be,  hecemse 
thou  hast  judged  thifs.  ^ 

§  6.  (4.)  But  though  this  rest  be  proper  to  the 
saints,  yet  it  is  common  to  all  the  saints ;  fix  it  is  an 
association  of  blessed  spirits,  both  saints  and  -aagels ; 
a  corporation  of  perfected  saints^  whereof  Christ  is 

*  John  xiv.  22i  +  Luke  w.  37. 

J  Luke  xvii.  34.  36.  §  Rev.  xvi,  5. 


the  head  ;  the  commtitiion  of  saints  corapleited.  As 
we  have  been  together 'in  the  labour,  duty,  dartg^r, 
and  distress ;  so  shall  we  be  inithe^reat  recompense  and 
deliverance.  As  we  have  been  scorned  and  desjiised ; 
so  shall  we  be  owned  and  honoured  together.-  We, 
who  have  gone  through  the  day  of  sadness,  shall 
enjoy  together  that  day  of  gladness.  Those,  whd 
have  been  with  us  in  persecution  and  prison,'  shall  be 
with  us  also  in  that  palace  of  consolation.  How  oft 
have  our  groans  made,  as  it  were,  one  sound ;  our 
tears  one  stream  ;  and  our  desires  one  prayer !  But 
now  all  our  praises  shall  make  up  one  melody;  all 
our  churches  one  church ;  and  all  ourselves,  one 
body ;  for  we  shall  be  all  one  in  Christ,  even  as  he 
and  the  Father  are  one.  *  'Tis  true,  we  must  be 
careful,  not  to  look  for  that  in  the  saints,  which  is 
alone  in  Christ.  But  if  the  forethought  of  siitilig 
down  with  Abraham,  and  Isaac j,  and  Jacob,  in  the 
kingdom  of  heaven,-\  may  be  our  lawful  joy;  how 
much  more  the  real  sight  and  actual  possession  ?'  It 
cannot  choose  but  be  comfortable  to  think  of  that  day, 
when  we  shall  join  with  Moses  in  his  song,  with  David 
in  his  psalms  of  praise^  and  with  all  the  fedeemediri 
the  song  of  the  Lamb  for  ever; J  when  we  shall  see 
Enoch  walking  with  God;^  Noah  enjoying  the  eiid 
of  his  singularity ;  Joseph  of  his  integrity  ;  Job  of  his 
patience;  Hezekiah  of  his  uprightness;  and  all  the 
saints  the  end  of  their  faith.\\  Not  only  our  old 
acquaintance,  but  all  the  saints,  of  all  ages,  whose 
faces  in  the  flesh  we  never  saw,  we  shall  there  both 
know  and  comfortably  enjoy.  Yea,  angels,  as  well 
as'saints,  will  be  our  blessed  a:c<iuaintance.  Those, 
who  now  are  willingly  our  ministering  spiHts,^  will 

*  John  xvii.  21.  f  Matt.  viii.  11  '%  Rev.  xv.  3, 

S  Gen.  V.  24.  ^l  Peter  i.  9.  '![  Heb.  i.  14. 

THE    saints'  EMsT.  41 

willingly  then  be  our  companions  in  joy.  They,  who 
had  such  joy  in  heaven  for  oUr  conversion  will  gladly 
rejoice  with  us  in  our  glorification.  Then  we  shall 
truly  say,  as  DaVid,  I  am  a  companion  of  all  them 
that  fear  thee;*  when  we  are  come  unto  mount  Sion, 
and  unto  the  city  of  the  living  God;  the  heavienly 
Jerusalem,  and  to  an  innumerable  company  oj  angels; 
to  the  general  assembly  and  church  of  thejirst-bom, 
who  are  written  in  heaven,  and  to  God  the  judge  of 
all,  and  to  the  spirits  of  just  men  made  perfect,  and  to 
Jesus  the  Mediator  of  the  new  covenant..^  It  is  a 
singular  excellence  of  heavenly  rest,  that  we  are 
felhw-citizen^  with  the  saints,  and  of  the  household 
of  God.% 

§  7.  (5.)  As  another  property  of  our  rest,  we  shall 
derive  its  joys  immediately  from  God.  Now  we,  have 
nothing  at  all  immediately,  but  at  the  second  or  third' 
hand,  or  how  many,  who  knows? "  Prom  the  earth, 
from  man,  from  sun  and  moon,  from  the  ministration 
of  angels,  and  from  the  Spirit,  and  Christ.  Though 
in  the  hand  of  angels,  the  stream  savours  not  of  the 
impierfe(Jtion  of  sinners,  yet  it  does  of  the  imper- 
fection of  creatures ;  and  as  it  comes  from  man, 
it  savours  of  both.  How  quick  and  piercing  is  the 
word  in  itself  !§  Yet  many  times  it  never  enters, 
being  managed  by  a  feeble  arm.  What  weight  and 
worth  is  there  in  every  passage  of  the  blessed  gospel ! 
Enough;  one  would  think,  to  enter  and  pierce  the 
dullest  soul,  and  wholly  possess  its  thoughts  and 
affections ;  and  yet  how  oft  does  it  fall  as  water  upon 
a  stone !  The  things  of  God  which  we  handle,  are 
divine;  but  our  manner  of  handling  is  human.   Therie 

*  Ps.  cxix.  63.  t  Heb.  xii,  22—24. 

X  Eph.  ii.  19.  §  Heb.  iv.  12. 


4*  THJt  ]5?fCittlW?ISS)  OF 

is  littje  we  to,vi<;h,  |w<t  ,W€^  leave  ti^et  pfi^nt  of  OUF 
$ng^cs  b^iqd.  If  Qpd  sp^a,)^^  tl?^  word  hj,i»siel;f, 
it,  yiWl  be,  a  piercing,  i^PieUJBg  wpjtd,  indesed-  TIm^ 
Chri?ti«<p  now  ^qows,  bj  ^^sperience,  thqjt  his  mosit 
iiai^dji^te  joy^  ^fe  bis,  weetest  joys ;  ^hich  hftyie 
lea^t  of  msiB,  and  are  mpst  dir^ctty  fi;oiRt  tb^  Spirit. 
CMsttiass*}  wbp  ^re  irmch  in  ^ec^et  pl;^ye^:  aiJcl,  coiJc 
templal;iQ0j j^re  qien  of  gre%t9s,t  ijie  and  joy ;  because 
^b.ey  b»ve  all  ipcffe  iE(^^d^a,teJ^  f«nm.  God  bimself. 
JCot  tbs^t,  we  stiQuI4  cast  off  bea^qg,  rea^ng,  aa^ 
conference,  oi;  i?^lect  t^i^jy  ordinance  of  Godl:  but  to 
live  ^v^  tbena,  vHJIq  we  qse  the,m,  is  the  wtay  of  a 
Cbi^i^ti^,.  %hexe  i«f  joj?*  i,%  tbese  remote  reqeiv.ifligs ; 
but  thejiilness  of  joy  is  in  God's  immediate  jore^ewce^ 
'W'e  sbfl^l  tbei?  ^y;e  Ijg^vt  without  a  C£>r^e,,  and 
perpetual  4*y  without  tbi*  &\im  for  'Ae.  c%  A««  mo 
»^e^4  qf  pifi  ^n,  n^th^  of  4^e  nwon,  to  shfine  in  if.  ij 
for  tjif  ^Iqry^  <ff  God  l}gh^n^  it,  and  tH  Lamk  is  tH 
lig^ /(hereof '.  tJi,e^e  ^h^mno  mgjit  thei:e;  c^tfii^ 
nfie4<  '?9  cffl;j^((fj  n^het;  J^H  t^  tji^  mn,  cmd.  th^ 
sJmf.1  v-^Vifin\  ^ev  an4  mer.*  We  sb^^U  then  h^v,© 
eflj^^eD,e4  tjn^ep^jisandi^gs  witbou.t  scripture,  ai?4f 
be  gov^ned  -Wr^thput  a.  wrij;t^n  law;  for  t||;ie  ^l^ordt 
V^iU  pei^e^^l^ h,i^ ^yif  injQW  bi^fl^-ts,  and  weshaU  be  all. 
pprfi^ClJy  t?LUgh,1;  of  Q^A,,  We^  sbaW  ^ve  ipy,  which, 
M(e  df^w,  Rpt  ^Kjq[^  th^  pfoii)iMes.>  n.or  fptjch^^d^roe  bj^ 
^Jj;Qr,ifp,g»^  ^e  ^i^l  hpe,  pp^qiouiiioij  >j(itbout 
s^ra^q^,  withouiti/^i^/riiji^^ii^  ■i5i?te,1f,^ej^  Qkr^i?^ 
^hffJI(l  dirink  a  «<?w  witk,  mmhi^  Ff^h^si  1f^n^fi^,% 
^n4v  refresh,  i^  with  the  09fl[i^^tji^  vr'OP  trf  iPptnafin 
dii%te  eiypyms^t.,  Xo, hfty;e  necessities,  bu^  no  s,nppl^fc 
'%  tbp  c?§^  of  ^h^  iiv  heU-  Tp,  hf^y,e:  iflecs^i^, 
supplied  by  means  of  the  creatures,  is  the  case  of  us 

*  Rev.  xxi  g^.  s;xii^$i  t  ^t^^^vi^  39> 

T^*    SAl'Nts'   REST.  ^ 

tn  feattli.  T6  have  necfeSSity  8Up{)lied  irhtt'ifedKa'^lj^ 
ftssfh  GHod,  isthie  case  of  ttie  Saints  in  hie4*€ti.  Td 
MVfe  no  necessity  at  all,  is  the  prerogative  fef  GiSiia 

§8.  (6.)  A  Iferther  exceUence  bf  this  test  is,  that 
it  vfiH  be  seaspnable.  Hie  that  fex^ects  tM  ff^lt  of 
hisviiie^afdat  the  season*  md  thakes  his  pfedplfe  Ukt 
a  tre6  plcetaed  h^  the  rivers  of  'better,  that  hringtth 
fffrth  hk  frail  in  his  season,^  will  also  giVl^  them  the 
'crown  in  his  season.  He  that  will  haVe  a  ivOf'd  of 
joy  spoken  in  season  tti%im  ikat  is  ii><edfy,X  will  surely 
cause  the  time  of  joy  to  appear  iti  the  fittest  SfeasOti. 
They  who  are  not  tiiearyin  well-doing,  shttUi  if  they 
jfhint  not,  reap  in  due  sedsoh.f^  If  God  giitih  fO^ 
even  to  his  eneftiies,  both  theforni&r  ttnd  tfHe  latt^ 
in  his  seAson,  and  reS&rv^h  ih^  appointed  uetehs  oj 
harvest,  and  to^en&nts  that  iker6  skdll  ie  day  and 
night  in  their  Season;^  thrift  aUfrily  the  glorious 
harvest  of  the  saints  shall  not  tnjss  its  seasoh.  Botibf. 
less  he  that  ^Ould  nOt  stay  a  day  IbHg^r  than  his 
promise,  but  brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt  on  the  self- 
same day,  when  tht  four  hundred  and  thirty  years 
were  expired,^  rteithei-  Will  he  fail  of  one  day  Oi; 
hour  of  the  fittest  season  for  his  people's  gloi'y*. 
When  we  have  had  in  this  World  a  long  night  of 
darkness,  will  not  the  day-lbi'eaktng,  and  the  rising 
of  the  Sun  of  Righteousness,  be  then  seasonable? 
When  we  have  passed  a  fong  and  tedious  journey, 
through  no  small  dangers, is  not  honie  then  seasonable? 
When  we  have  had  a  Johg  and  perilous  war,  and 
received  many  a  wound,  would  not  a  peace  with 
victorv  be  seasonable  ?  Men  live  in  a  cohtinaal  WeaH.^ 
tiess;  especially  the  saints,  Who  are  most  weary,  of 

*  Mark  xii.  2.     f  Psalm  i.  3.  %  Isaiah  1.  4. 

§  Gal.  vi.  g.        II  Jer.  v.  24.  1aaa&.  20.        %  ^xod.  xii.  4Q,  41. 


that  which  the  \yorld  cannot  feel.  Some  weary  of  a 
blind  mind;  some  of  a  hard  heart;  some  of  their 
'daily  doubts  and  fears  ;  some  of  the  want  of  spiritual 
joys;  and  some  of  the  sense  of  God's  wrath.  And 
iwhen  a  poor  Ghristjan  hath  desired  and  prayed,  and 
waited  for  deliverance  many  years,  is  it  not  theq 
seasonable?  We  grudge  that  we  do  not  find  a 
Canaan  in  the  wilderness;  or  the  songs  of  Sion  in  a 
strange  land  ;  that  we  liave  not  a  harbour  in  the  main 
ocean,  nor  oiir  rest  in  the  heat  of  the  day,  nor  heaven 
before  we  l^ave  ihe  earth;  and  would  not  all  this  be 
very  unseasonable  ? 

§,9.  (7.)  As  thi,s  rest,will  be  seasonable,  so  it  will 
be  suitable.  The  new  nature  of  the  saints  doth  suit 
th^ir  spirits  to  this  rest.  Indeed  .their  holiness  is 
nothing  else  but  a  spark  taken  froin  this  element,  arid 
bythe. Spirit  of  Christ  kindled  in  their  hearts;  the 
flame  whereof,  mindful  of  its  own  divine  original, 
ever  tends  to  the  place  from  whence  it  comes. 
Temporal  crowns  and  kingdoms  could  not  make  a 
rest  for  saints.  As  they  were  not  redeemed  with  so 
low  a  price,*  neither  are  they  endued  with  so  low  ^ 
pature.  As  God  will  have  from  then;i  a  spiritual 
wqrship,  suited  to  his  own  spiritual  being,  be, will 
provide  them  a  spiritual  rest,  suitable  to  their  spiri- 
tual nature.  The  knowledge  of  God  and  his  Christ, 
a  delightful  conaplacency  in  that  mutual  love,  an 
everlasting  rejoicing  in  the  enjoyment  of  our  God, 
with  a  perpetual  singing  of  his  high  praises-;  this  is 
a  heaven  fpr  a  saint.  Then  we  shall  }ive  in  our  owo 
element.  We,  are  now  as  the  fish  in  a  vessel  of  water, 
only  so  much  as  will  keep  them  alive;  but  what  is 
that  to  the  ocean  !  Vfe  haye  a  little  air  let  into  us, 
JP  afford  us  brpathing;  but  what  is  that  to  the  sweet 
*  1  Peter  i.  18. 

THE    saints'  JIEST.  45 

apd  fre&h  gales  upon  Mount  Sion !  We  have  a  beam 
of  the  sun  to  lighten  our  darkness,  and  a  warm  ray  to 
keep  us  from  freezing;  but  then  we  shall  live  in  its 
light,  and  be  revived  by  its  beat  for  ever.— As  the 
natures  of  sajflt^are,  such  are  their  desires ;  and  ifis 
the  desires  of  our  renewed  nature  which  this  rest  is 
suited  to.  Whilst  our  desires  remain  corrupited  and 
misguided,  it  is  a  far  greater  mercy  to  deny  theoa,  yea, 
to  destroy  them,  than  to  satisfy  them:  But  those 
which  are  spiritual  are  of  his  own  planting,  and  he 
will  surely  watenjihera,  and  give  the  increase.  He 
quickened  our,  hunger  and  thirst  for  righteousness, 
that  he, might  n)ake  us  happy  in  a  full  satisfaction. 
Christian,  this  is  a  rest  after  thy  own  heart ;  it  contains 
all  that  thy  heart  can  wish :  that  which  thou  longest, 
pray  est, .  labou  rest  fctr,  there  thou  shalt  find  it  all. 
Thou  hadst  rather  have  iGod  in  Christ,  than  all  the 
world;  There  thou  shalt  have  him.  What  wpuldst 
thou  not  give  for  assurance  of  his  love?  There  thou 
shalt  have  assurance  without  suspicion.  Desire  what 
thou  canst,  and  ask  what  thou  wilt,  as  a  Christian, 
arid  it  shall  be  given  thee;  not  only  to  half  of  the 
kingdom,  biit  to- the  enjoyment  both  of  kingdom  and 
King.  This  is  a  life  of  desire  and  prayer,  but  that  is 
a  life  of  satisfaction  and  enjoyment.  This  rest  is  very 
suitable  to  the  saints'  necessities  also,  as  well  as  to 
their  natures  and  desires.  It  contains  whatsoever 
they, truly  wanted;  not  supplying  them  with  gross 
created  comforts,  which>  like  Saul's  armour  on  David, 
are  more  burden  than  benefit.  It  was  Christ  and 
perfect  holiness  which  they  most  needed,  and  with 
these  shall,  they  be  supplied.  v,;. 

§  10.  (8.)  Still  more,  this  rest  will  be  absolutely 
perfect.  We  shall  then  have  joy  without  sorrow,  and 
rest  without  weariness,    Thpre  is  pp  ipixture  of  cor- 


ruptlon  wilJi  oiir  gtacfes,  nor  of  suffering  Tvith  out 
coBifort.  There  are  none  of  t^ose  waves  in  that 
harbour,  which  now  bo  toss  lis  up  and  down.  To-day 
we  are  well,  to-morrow  sick;  to-day  in  esteera,  to- 
morrow indisgrace;  to-day  we 'have  friends,  to-morrow 
none;  nay,  we  have,  wine  and  vinegar  i ft  the  same 
cup.  If  rewe/aftjbws  raise  us  Jo  the  third  heaven,  tht 
messenger  of  Satan  must  presently  buffet  us,  and  the 
•thorn  in  the  flesh  fetch  us  down.*  But  there  is  none 
of  this  inconstancy  in  heaven.  \i perfect  love  cdsteth 
ovtfecar,  f  then  perfect  joy  must  needs  cast  out  sorrow, 
and  perfect  happiness  exclude  all  the  rteliques  of 
misery.  We  shall  there  rest  from  all  the  evil  of  sin, 
and  of  suffering. 

§  11.  Heaven  excludes  nothing  more  directly  than 
sin,  whether  of  nature,  or  of  conversation.  There 
shall  in  no  wise  enter  any  thing  that  defilelh,  neither 
whatsoever  worketh  abomination,  or  maketh  a  lie.^ 
What  need  Christ  at  all  to  have  died,  if  heaven  could 
have  contained  imperfect  souls  ?  For  this  purpose 
the  Son  of  God  was  manifested,  that  he  might  destroy 
the  works  of  the  devil.  §  His  blood  and  Spirit  have 
not  done  all  this,  to  leave  us  after  all  defiled.  ff^Aat 
communion  hath  light  with  darkness?  and  what 
eoncord  hath  Christ  with  Belial?\\  Christian,  if  thou 
be  once  in  heaven,  thou  shalt  sin  no  more.  Is  not 
this  glad  news  to  thee,  who  hast  prayed,  and  watched 
against  it  so-long  ?  I  know,  if  it  were  offered  to  thy 
choice,  thou  wouldst  rather  choose  to  be  freed  from 
sin,  than  have  all  the  world.  Thou  shalt  have  thy 
desire.  That  hard  heart,  those  vile  thoughts^  which 
accompanied  thee  to  every  dut/,  shall  now  be  left 
behind  for  ever. — ^Thy  understanding  shall  never  more 

*  2  Cor.  xii,  2.  7-  t  1  John  iv.  18.  J  Itev.  xxi.  27. 

§  I  John  iii.  8.  IJ  2  Cor,  vi.  14,  15. 

THE  saints'   rest.  4"^ 

be  troubled  with  darkness.     All  dark  scriptures  shall 
be  made  pkin ;  all  seeming  contradictions  reconciled. 
'The  poorest  Chrisfiianis  presently  there  a  more  perfect 
divine  than  any  heres.    O  that  happy  day,  when  error 
shall  vanish  for  ever !    When  our  understanding  shall 
be  filled  with  God  himself,  whose  light  will  leave  no 
darkness  in   us!     His  face  shall  be  the  scripture, 
where  we  shall  read  the  truth.     Many  a  godly  man 
hath  here,in  bis  mistaken  zea),been  a  means  to  deceive 
and  pervert  his  brethren.,  and  when  he  sees  his  own 
error,  cannot  again  teU  how  to  undeceive  them.     But 
there  we  shall  conspire  in  ope  truth,  as  being  one  ia 
him  who.  is  the  truth. — We  shall  also  rest  from  all 
tfie  sin  of  our  will,  affection,  and  conversation.     Wc 
shall  no  more  retain  this  rebelling  principle,  which:  ia 
atill  drawing  us  from  God;  no  more  be  oppressed 
with  the  power  of  our  corruptions,  nor  vexed  with 
tiheiir  presence:  no  pride,  passion,  slothfulness,  insen- 
sibility', shall  enter  with  u&;  no  strangeness  to  God, 
and  the  things  of  God ;  no  coldness  of  affections, 
OQc  imperfection  in  our  love;  no  uneven  walking, 
nor  grieving  of  the  Spirit ;  no  scandalous  action,  noc 
unholy  coBversation :  we  shall  rest  from  all  these  for 
ever.     Th^a  shall  our  will  correspond  to  the  divine 
wiil,  as  face  answers  face  in  a  glaiss,  and  from  which, 
asi  o.ur  law  and  rule,  we  shall  never  swervei     For  he 
that  is  ent&red  into,  his  rest,  he  cdso  hath  ceased: froOn 
his  own  works,  as  God  didfrmn  hi&.* 

§  13.  Our  sufferings  were  but  the  consequences  of 
Qur  sinning,  and  in  heaven  they  both  shall  cease 
together. — We  shall,  rest  from'  all  our  doubts  of  Godi's^ 
love.  It  shall  no  more  be  said,  that  "  Doubts:  arfe 
''like  the  thistle,  a  bad-  weed,  but  growing' in  goedi 
'*  ground."t  They  shall,  now  be  weeded  out,  and 
*  Heb.  iv.  10,  t  Dt.  Jobn  Preston. 


trouble  the  gracious  soul  no  more.     AVe  shall  hear 
that  kind  of  language  no  more,  "  What  shajl  I  do  to 
"  know  my  state?     How  shall  I  know  that  God  is 
"  my  Father?     That  my  heart  is  upright  ?    That  my 
"  conversation  is  true  ?     That  my  faith  is  sincere  ?    I 
"  am  afraid  my  sins  are  unpardoned  !    That  all  I  do  is 
"  hypocrisy !   That  God  will  reject  me !    That  he  does 
"  not  bear  my  prayers."    All  this  is  there  turned  into 
praise.     We  shall  rest  from  all  sense  of  God's  dis- 
pleasure.    Hell  shall  not  be  mixed  with  heaven.    At 
times  the  gracious  soul  remembered  God,  and  was 
troubled:    complained,   and   was   overwhelmed,   and 
refused  to   be   comforted;    divine  wrath    lay   hard 
upon  him,  and  God  iifflicted  him  with  all  his  waves.* 
But  that  blessed  day  shall  convince  us,  that  though 
God  hid  his  face  from  us  far  a  moment,  yet  with 
everlasting  kindness  will  he  have  mercy  on  us.  ■]■     We 
shall  rest  from  all  the  temptations  of  Satan.     What  a 
grief  is  it  to  a  Christian,   though  he  yield  not  to 
the  temptation;  yet  to  be  solicited  to  t}eny  his  Lord  ! 
What  a  torment,  to  have  such  horrid  motions  made 
to  his  soul !  such  blasphemous  ideas  presented  to  his 
imagination!      Sometimes  cruel   thoughts  jof  God, 
undervaluing  thoughts  of  Christ,  unbelieving  thoughts 
of  Scripture,  or  injurious  thoughts  of  Providence !   To 
be  tempted  sometimes  to  turn  to  present  things,  to 
play  with  the  baits  of  siii,  and  venture  on  the  delights 
of  flesh,  and  sometimes  to  atheism  itself!    Especially, 
when  we  know  the  treachery  of  our  own  hearts,  ready, 
as  tinder,  to  take  fire,  as  soon  as  one  of  those  sparks ' 
shall  fall  upon  them !     Satan  hath   power  here  to 
tempt  us  in  the  wild&ness',  but  he  entereth  not  the 
holy  city  r  he  nniay  set  us  on  a  pinnacle  of  the  temple' 
in  the  earthly  Jerusalem,  but  the  new  Jerusalem  he 
•  Psalm  Ixxvil.  2,  3.  Ixjxxviii.  7.  f  ^sa-  liv-  6. 

THE   saints'  best.  49 

may  not  apiproach:  he  m^  take  us  up  into  an  eikeed- 
mghigk  mountain,  but  the  Mount- Sion  be  cannot 
aacend;  and  if  be  cbbld,  all  the  kingdom^  of  tM 
world,  and  the  glory  of  ihethi*  wouki  be  -ii  dcBpfeed 
bait  to  a  soul  possessed'  of  the  kingdam  of  out  Ldrd; 
No,  it  is  iii  vain  for'Satau  to  offer  a  temptation  more. 
AH  our  temptdtionsjroni  the  world  and  the  flesh  shall 
also  cease.     O  the  houriy  dadgers  that  we  here  walk 
iti !      Every  sense,  and  member,\  is  a  snare ;  every 
cr^atire,  every  ipercy,  awd  every  doty,  is  a  snare  M> 
us.     We  can  scarce  open  our  elyes,  but  we  are  itt 
danger  of  envying  those  above  us,  or  ides^pising  th'osft 
below  us;    of  coveting  the  homours  and  riebes'  oT 
some,  or  beholding  the  rags-  and  beggary  of  others 
with  pride  and  unmereifulivess.     If  we  see  beauty,  it 
is  a  bait  to  lust;  if  deformity,  to  loathing  and  disdairiv 
How  soon  do  slanderous  reports,  vain  jests,  wanton 
speech«Si  creep  into  the  heaft !     How  constant  and 
string  a  watch  does  our  appetite  require !     Have  we 
comeliness  and  beauty  ?  what  fuel  for  pride  I     Are 
we  deformed'^  what  an  occasion  of  repiniiyg. !  Have  w^e 
strength  of  reason,  and  gifts  ©f  learning  ?     O  how 
prone  U>  be  puft  up,  hunt  after  applause,  and  despise 
our  brethren  !     Are  we  tmlearned  ?   botv  apt  then  to 
despise  what  we'  have  not!     Are  we  in  places  of 
authority?  how  strong  isthe  temptation' to  abuse  our 
trust,  rnake-  our  will  .our  law,  and  cut  out  all  th6 
enjdyments  of  others'  by  the  rules  And  iWodfel  of  odt 
own  interest  aAd  pohcy!     Are  we  inferiors?    bo'^ 
prone  to  grudgb'  at  others'  pre-<eniiineiii<!e,  and  brings 
their  ac{iioili&  to  the  ba)r  el  O'ur  judgBVeht !   Are  we 
rich,  andfiot  too  much  exalted?     Are  we  pootr,  and 
not  distjoa tented  ?     J^  we  not  latsy  in  owr  duties,  or 
make  a  Christ  of  them  ?    Not  that  God  hath  made 
*'  Mtttt.  \v.  1-.  6.  €. 

30  the:  EXCEtLENCrESroF 

all  these  things  our  snares  ;fiibut  through  our  own 
corruption  they  become  so  to  us.  Ourselves  are  the 
greatest  snare  to  ourselves.  This  is  oiir  comfort,  our 
rest  will  free  us  from  all  these.  As  Satstn  hath  no 
entrance  there,  so  neither  any  thing  to  serve  his 
malice;  but  all  things  there  shall  join:  with  us  in  the 
high  praises  of  our  great  Deliverer.  As  we  restfrbm 
the  temptations,  we  shall  likewise  frbtai  the  abuses 
and  persecutions  of  .the- worVd.  The  prayers  o^  the 
souls  under  the  altar  will  then, be  answered,  and  God 
will  avenge  their  blood  on  them  that,  dwell  on  the 
earth.*  This  m  the  time  for  crowning  with  thorns, 
<Aa<  for  crowning  with  glory.  Now,  all  that  will  live 
godly  in  Christ  Jesus,  shall  siiffer  perseeution;-^  then 
they  that  siiffered  with  him,  shall  be  glorified  with 
him.  J  Now,  we  m  ust  6e  hated  of  all  men  for  Chrisfs 
name's  sake.^  Then,  Christ  will  be  admired  in  his 
saints  that  were  thus  ha;ted.||  ff^e  are  here  made  a 
speciacle  unto  the  world,  and  to  angels,  and  to  men; 
as  the  filth  of  the  world,  and  the  offscouring  of  all 
things;^  men  separate  us  from  their  company,  and 
reproach  us,  and  cast  out  our  names  as  evil:**  but  we 
shall  then  be  as  much  gazed  at  for  our  glory,  arid  they 
will  be  shut  out  of  the  church  of  the  saints,  and 
separated  from  us,  whether  they  will  or  not.  We 
can  scarce  pray  in  our  families,  or  sing  praises  to 
God,  but  our  voice  is  a  vexation  to  them :  How  must 
it  torment  them  then,  to  see  us  praising  and  rejoicing, 
while  they  are  howling  and  lamenting !  You,  brethren, 
who  can  now  work  of  God,  without  losing 
the  love  of  the  world,  consider,  you  shall  have  none 
in  heaven  but  will  further  your  work,  and  join  heart 
and  voice  with  you  in  your  everlasting  joy  and  praise. 
*  Rev.  vi.  9, 10.  t  2  Tim.  iii.  12.+  Rom.  yiii.  17.  §  Matt.  xxiv.  9. 
II  2  Thess.  i.  10.         %  I  qor.  iv,  9.  13.         **  Luke  vi.  22. 

THE   saints'   rest.  SI 

Till  then;  possess' ye  pour  smils  in  patience.*  Bind 
all  reproaches  as  ia  crown  to  your  heads.  Esteem 
them  greater  riches  than  the  world's  treasures/  It  is 
a  righteous  thing  with  God  to  recompense' tribuldti&n 
to  them  that  trouble  t/ot^ ;  and  to  you,  who  are  irmihled; 
rest  with  Christ:^  We  shall  then  rest  from  all  our 
sad  divisions,  and  unchristian  quarrels  with  one 
another.'  How  lovingly  do  thousands  live  together 
in  heaven,  who  lived  at  variance  upon  earth !  There 
is  no  contention,  because  none  of  this  pride,  igno- 
rance, or  other  corruption.  There  is  no  plotting  to 
strengthen  our  party,  nor  deep  designing  against  our 
brethren.  If  there  be  sorrow  or  shame  in  heaven,  we 
shftU  then  be  both  sorry  and  ashamed,  to  remember 
all  this  carriage  on  earth;  as  Joseph^S  brethren  were 
to  behold  him,  when  they  remembered  their  former 
unkind  usage.  Is  it  ndt  enough  that  all  the  world  is 
against  us,  but  we  must  also  be  against  one  another? 
O  happy  days  of  persecution,  which  drove  us  together 
in  IbVe,  whom  the  sunshineof  liberty  and  prosperity 
crumbles  into  dust  by  our  contentions  !  O  happy  day 
of  the  saints'  rest  in  glory,  when,  as  there  is  one  God, 
one  Christj  one  Spirit,  so  we  shall  have  one  heart,  one 
church,  one  empldyment  for  ever !  We  shall  then 
rest  from  our  participation  of  our  brethren's  sufferings. 
The  church  on  earth  is  a  mere  hospital ;  some  groan^ 
ing'  under  a  dark  understanding,  some  under  an 
insensible  heart,  some  languishing  under  unfruitful 
weakness,  atid  some  bleeding  for  miscarriages  and 
wilfulness ;  some  crying  ouX  of  their  poverty,  some 
groaning  under  pains  and  infirmities,  and  some 
bewailing  a  whole  catalogue  of  calamities.  But  a 
far  greater  grief  it  is,  to  see  our  dearest  and  most 
intimate  friends  turned  aside  from  the  truth  of 
*  Luke  xxi.  19.  f  2  Thess.  i.  6,  7, 

62  THE   EXC^l'UENC:!^    Q-F 

iPtffist,  contiivMing  their  neglect  of  Chfi«(t  and 
f))^ir>sQuls,  apd  nothing  \viU  ?iwalien  thei^oiut  of  their 
iieGurity ;  to  Ipok  on  an  upgodly  father  qp  iKkOitbef. 
brother  or  sistev,  wife  or  husband,  child  or  friend,  ^fidi 
think  hpw  certainly  they  shall  be  in  hell  for  ever,  if 
t^hey  die  in  their  pr^ept  imregen^atf  state;  to  thipk  of 
t\ie  g9isp§l  departing,  the  glory  taken  from  our  Isr^^)^ 
poor  souls  left  willingly  dark  and  destitute,  and 
hlowji^g  oat  the  light  that  should  guide;  them  to  gaka- 
tion  !  Our  day  of  rest  w\l  free  us  from  all  this,  ^n4 
^/ie  dqys  qfn^y,rv^ing  sfhall  fte  end/Bd;  then  th^  people 
P  Lord,  shodl  ^e  aU  righteetu»;  they  sl^all  ifih^t  the 
Iflndfof  e^er,  the  hsranQh  of  thy  planting,  the  work  of 
4%  h^nd^  that  thou  maymt  he  glorified*  Then  we 
shall  F^st  from  all  our  Own  personal  su^€nng§.  Thia 
piay  s^em  a  small  thing  to  those  that  live  in  ea?e  and 
prosperity;  hut  to  the  daily  afflicted  soul,  it  makea 
the  tbo^ghtS  of  heaven  delightful.  0  the  dying  life, 
y/e  \iom  live !  as  fgll  of  sufferings  as  of  days  and  hoi|rs  \ 
Qpr  Redeemer  J^avfss  this  tpeasure  of  mi$ery  upOm 
us,  tq  mak@  us  kflow  for  what  we  are  beholden,  ta 
P^ind  vi§  of  what  w^  should  else  forget,  to  be  serYice>< 
able  to  hisi  wise  and  gracious  designs,  and  adva^tageQUi 
to  our  full  and  final  recovery.  Grief  enters  at  everjf 
sense,  seizes  ^very  part  and  power  of  flesh  and  spirit. 
What;  noble  part  is  there,  that  sufiereth  its  pain  or 
ifuin  alone  ?^  But  siin  and  flesh,  dust  and  pain,  will 
all  be  left  behind  together.  Q  the  blessed  tranquillity 
of  that  region,  where  there  is  nothing  but  sweet 
continued  pea<:e !  O  healthful  place,  where  none  are 
sick  !  O  fortunate  land,  where  all  are  kings  !  O  holy 
assprnibly,  where  all  are  priests !  How  free  a  State, 
T(V'be!?e  none  are  siervants,  but  to  their  auprenae< 
Monarcih !    The  poor  m^  shall  no  moie  be  tire^'i 

*  Isaiah  Ix.  20,  21. 

THE  saints'  KEST.  53 

wji^ .hi?! labours:  m  zwdreifijfMgwr  or  tbiratii  c<Adot 
ii»k^nes9:  no  pUiobingifroite  or  scorcfeisig  heata. 
0u.r  faces  slwN  no  more,  be  pale  or  ,sad:  no  more 
brieacheSs  in  friendship,  nor  parting  of  friends  asunder : 
no  more.  frr^Hble  aowHJpartyJng  our  re/kttioiis,  nor 
voice  of  latneotatioto  beard  m  our  dwellinigs'.  God 
mil  wipe  mlmy  all  tears  from  owr  eyes:*  0  my 
8®ul,  bear  ivith  the  infirmities  of  tbine  earthly  taber- 
nacle ;  it  wkll  be  thus  but  a  little  while ;  the  sound  of 
thy  Redeemer's  ^ce#  is  even  at  the  door.  We  shall 
also  rest  from  all  the  toils  of  duties.  The  cofflacien- 
tious  magistrate,  parent,  and  naimister,  cries  out,  •'  O 
♦'  the  burden  that  lieth  upon  me !"  Every  relation, 
State,  age,  hath  variety  of  duties;  so  that  every 
conaeientioua  Chcistian  cries  out,  "O  the  burdiem! 
"  O  my  weakness  that  makes  it  burdensome  P'  Bat 
our  remaining  rest  will  ease  us  of  the  burdens.  Once 
Bibre  we  shall  rest  from  all  these  troublesome  afflic- 
tions which  necessarily  accompany  our  absence  from 
God.  The  trou'ble  that  is  roixt  in  our  desires  and 
hopes,  our  longings  and  waitings,  shall  then  cease. 
We  shall  no  more  look  into  our  cabinet,  and  miss  our 
treasure;  into  our  hearts,  and  miss  otir  Christ;  no 
more  seek  him  from  ordinance  to  ordinaisjiee;  but  all 
b#  concluded  in  a  most  blessed  and  full  enjoyment. 
§  13.  (9.)  The  last  jewel  of  our  crown  is,  that  it 
will  be  an  everlasting  rest.  Without  this,  all  were 
eomfiaratively  nothing.  The  very  thought  of  leaving 
it»  would  embitter  all  our  joys.  It  would  be  a  hell  in 
heave®,  to  think  of  once  losing  heaven ;  as  it  would 
be  a  kind  of  heaven  to  the  damned,  had  they  but 
hopes  of  once  escapiaf .  Mortality  is  the  disgrace  of 
»U  sublunary  delights*  How  it  spoils  our  pleasure 
to  see  it  dying  im  our  hands  1  But,  O  blessed  eternity] 
t  Rest,  viu  l6^  17. 


where  our  lives  are  perplexed  with  no'such  thoughts, 
nof  our  joys  interrupted  with  any  such  feat's!  where 
we  shall  be  pillats  in  the*  temple  of  God,  ttnd  go  tio 
more  out*  While  wte  were  servants,  we  held  by 
lease,  and  tbat  but  for  the  term  of  a  transitdfy  life ; 
but  the  son  abideth  in  the  house  for  ever.-f  "  O  my 
"  soul,  let  go  thy  dreams  of  present  pleasures,  and 
"  loose  thy  hold  of  earth  and  flesh.  Study  frequently, 
"  study  thbi-obghly,  this  one  word,! — eternity:  What, 
"live,  and  never  die !  Rejoice,  and  ever  rejoice!" 
O  happy  souls  in  hell,  should  you  but  escape  after 
millions  of  ages !  O  miserable  saints  in  heaven,  should 
you  be  dispossessed,  after  the  age  of  a  million  of  worlds! 
This  vioxdi,' everlasting,  contains  the  perfection  of 
their  torment,  and  our  glory.  O  that  the  sitiner 
would  study  this  word ;  methinks  it  would  startle 
him  out  of  his  d^ad  sleep !  0  that  the  gracious  sOul 
would  study  it;  methinks  it  would  revive  him  in  his 
deepest  agony!  "And  must  I,  Lord, 'thus  live  for 
"  ever?  then  will  I  also  love  for  ever.  Must  my 
"  joys  be  immortal,  and  shall  not  my  thanks  be  also 
"  immortal?  Surely,  if  I  shall  never  lose  my  glory, 
"  I  will  never  cease  thy  praises.  If  thou  wilt  both 
"  perfect  and  perpetQate  me  and  my  glory  ;  as  I  shall 
"  be  thine,  and  not  my  own  ;  so  shall  my  glory  be 
"  thy  glory.  And  as.thy  glory  was  thy  ultimate  end 
"  in  my  glory ;  so  shall  it  also  be  my  end,  when  thou 
"  hast  crowned  me  with  that  glory  which  hath  no 
"  end.  Unto  the  King  eternal,  immortal,  invisible, 
'^  and  only  wise  God,  be  honour  and  glory,  Jhr  ever 
"  and  ever.X" 

§  14.  Thus  I  have  endeavoured  to  show  you  a 
glimpse  of  approaching  glory.  But  how  short  are  my 
expressions  of  its  excellency!  Reader,  if  thou  be  an 

*  Rev.  iii.  12.       f  John  viii.  35^       J  1  Tim^i.  17. 

THE    saints'   rest.  55 

humble  sincere  believer,  and  waitest  with  longing 
arid  labouring  for  this  rest,  thou  wilt  shortly  s6e,  and 
feel  the  trMth  of  all  this.  Thou  wilt  then  have  so 
high. an  apprehension  of  this  blessed  state,  as  will 
make  thee  pity  the  ignorance  and  distance  of  mortals, 
and  will  tell  thee,  all  that  is  here  said  falls  short  of 
the  whole  truth  a. thousand  fold.  In  the  mean, time, 
Ipt  this  much  kindle  thy  desires,  and  quicken  thy 
endeavours  :  up,  and  be  doing;  run,  and  strive,  and 
fight,  and  hold  on  ;  for  thou  hast  a  certain,  glorious 
prize  before  thee.  God  will  not  mock  thee ;  do  not 
mock  thyself,  nor  betray  thy  soul  by  delaying,  and 
all  is  thine  own.  What  kindof  men,  dost  thou  think, 
would  Christians  be  in  their  lives  and  duties,  if  they 
had  still  this  glory  fresh  in  their  thoughts  ?  What 
frame  would  their  spirits  be  in,  if  their  thoughts  of 
heaven  were  lively  and  believing  ?  Would  their  hearts 
be  so  heavy  ?  their  countenances  be  so  sad  ?  or  would 
they  have'need  to  take  up  their  coinforts  from  below? 
Would  they  be  so  loath  to  suffer ;  so  afraid  to  die ; 
or  would  they  not  think  every  day  a  year  till  they 
enjoy  it  ?'  May  the  Lord  heal  our  carnal  hearts,  lest 
we  enter  not  into  this  rest,  because  of  unbelief.* 

'  *  Heb.  iii.  19. 


CHAP.   IT; 

The  Character  of  the  Persons  for  tthom  this  Rest' 
is  designed. 

§  1'.  'Tis  wonderful  that  such  rest  should  l&e  dWrfgiied  for  iribrtate- 
§  2.  The  peaple;  of  God,  \**ho  shall  eigioy  this' Jeft,  are,  (1,) 
Choseni  from  eternity.  §  S.  (2.)'  Given  to  Christ.  §.  4v  (3.) 
J?orn  again.  §  5 — ^8.  "(4.)  Deeply  convinced  of  the  evil  of  sin, 
their  misery  by  sin,  the  V£^oity  of  the  creature,  and  the  all- 
sufficiency  of  Christ.  §  9^  (S.)  Their  virill  is  proportionably 
chaaged.  §  10.  (6.)'  They  engage  in  covenant  with  Christ. 
§  11.  and,  (J.)  They  persevere,  iri  their  engargenfia»tg«  §  12i 
The  reader  iuuited.  to  examine  himself  hfy  ithe-  jehafatiitrrktiics  of 
God's  people.  |  19-  Further  testimony  from  scciptuie  thatthii 
rest  shall'  he  enjoyed"  by  the  people  of  'God^  §,  1 4.  Also  that 
■none  but  thiey  shall  enjoy  rt.  §  15,  V&'.  And'thafit  remains  for 
them,  audi  is>net  to  be  enjoyed  till  they  come  to  anbther  worML 
§  17.  The  cha'pter  concludes  with '  shamntig,  that  iteip  souls 
shall  enjoy  this  i;est  while  separated  fr^^  their  bodies. 

§  1.  While  I  was  in  the  mount,  describing  the 
excellencies)  of  the  saints'  rest,,  I  felt  it  was  good 
being,  there,  and  therefore  tarried  the  longer ;  and 
was  there  not  an  extreme  disproportion  between  my 
conceptions  and  the  subject,  much  longer  had  I  been. 
Can  a  prospect  of  that  happy  land  be  tedious  ?  Having 
read  of  such  a  high  and  unspeakable  glory,  a  stranger 
would  wonder  for  what  rare  creatures  this  mighty  pre- 
paration should  be  made,  and  expect  some  illustrious 
sun  should  break  forth.  But,  behold  !  only  a  shellfal 
of  dust,  animated  with  an  invisible  rational  soul,  and 
that  rectified  with  as  unseen  a  restoring  power  of 
grace ;  and  this  is  the  creature  that  must  possess  such 
glory.  You  would  think  it  must  needs  be  some 
deserving  piece,  or  one  that  bringis  a  valuable  price: 


but,  behold  !  one  that  hath  nothing ;  and  can  deserve 
nothing;  yea,  that  deservesj the  contrary,  and  would, 
if  he  might,  proceed  in  that  deservjug:  but  being 
apprehended  by  love,  he  is  brought  to  him  that  is 
All;  B.ii6  most  affectionately  receiving  him,  and  resting 
on  him,  he  doth,  in  and  through  hinij  receive  all  this. 
More  pai-ticularly,  the  persons  for  whom  this  rest  is 
designed,  are — chosen  of  God  from  eternity;  given 
to  Christ,  as  their  Redeemer; — born  again  ; — deeply 
convinced  of  the  evil  and  misery  of  a  sinful  state, 
the  vanity  of  the-creature,  and  the  all-sufficiency  of 
Christ  ;—itheir  will  is  renewed  ; — they  engage  them- 
selves to  Christ  in  covenant  c-T-and  they  persevere  in 
their  engagements  to  the  end. 

§  2.  (1.)  The  persons  for  whom  this  rest  is  designed, 
whom  the  text  calls  the  people  of  God,  are  chosen  of 
God  before  the  foundation  of  the  world,  that  they 
should  h^  holy  and  without  blame  before  him  in  lave.* 
That  they  are  but  a  small  part  of  mankind,  is  too 
apparent  in  scripture  and  experience.  They  are  the 
little  fock,  to  whom  it  is  their  Father's  good  pleasure 
to  give  the  1dngdom.'\  Fewer  they  are  than  the  world 
itpagines ;  ypt  not  so  few  as  sonie  drooping  spirits 
thinks,  who  are  suspicious  that  God  is  unwilling  to  be 
their  God,  when  they  know  themselves  willing  to 
be  his  people. 

,  §3  '(2.)  These  persons  are  given  of  God  to  his 
Son,  to  be  by  him  redeemed  from  their  lost  state,  and 
advanced  to  this  glory.  God  hath  given  all  things 
to  his  Son.  God  hath  given  him  power  over  all  flesh, 
that  he  -  should  give  eternal  life  to  hs  many  as  the 
Father  hath  given  him.^  The  Father  hath  given  him 
all  who  repent  and  believe.  The  diflference  is  clearly 
isjcpcessed  by  the  apostle ;  he  hath  put  all  things  under 

*  Epli.  i.  4,  J5.         t  Luke  xii.  32. 

58  TH*  CMi.RA<c¥«:*  0%"  tdolSfe 

Ms  feet,  and'gaoe  'Mtn  Ho  he  the  JiMS,  over  all  things 
tb  the  chierch.  *  iktiA  «b6irgh  Christ  is,  in  some  sense, 
a  rartsom'for^U,'\  yet  not  in  tH&l  special  mainner  as 
for  ^hrfe  people. 

§  4  (3.)  One  !great  qaaMca^^'dh  '6»f  these  pietSoYi^ 
is,  ttikit  they  are  horn  nguin.  %  To  be  the  people  of 
Gdd  withoiirt  rfegew^rktwwi,  is  as  im^d^sible  as  to  be 
the  childi'en  6i  men  Without  generation.  Seeiing  we 
ai*e  b6rn  Ood's  enemies,  we  itoui^t  be  ne'Sv-borti  his  - 
sotiSj'oi:  else  remain  enemies  stillf.  The  greatest  refpr- 
toation  of  life  that  cSn  be  attai>ned  tb  wijthbut  this 
new  life  wrought  (in  the  sooljifiay  procure  onr  further 
delusion,  but  neVdr  our  salvation. 

%  5.  (4.)  This  new  life  \ti  the  people  of  God 
disccyerb  itself  by  convictidn-,  or  a  deep  sense  of 
'divine  ihingB.  As  for  instance :  they  are  cohviiieied 
of  "the  evil  6f  sin.  The  sinner  Is  made  t6  know  aM 
feel,  ^that  the  sin,  Vbich  ^as  his  'delight,  is  a  i&bTe 
loatlisome  thing  than  'a  toi^d  <sx  sei-^pent,  and  a  grilJiatdr 
evil  than  -plague  or  "fanrinfe;  bein|f  a  br^ch  of  the 
rightebtis  law  of  the  most  high  God,  dishdnoUrkble 
tb  him,  and  destructive  to  the  sinner.  Ntf*v  the 
sihher  no  more  hears  the  reproof  of  siii,  as  ^vdtdfe  6f 
•cburse;  but  the  hieritidn  of  hi's  sin'sp^lifi'tO'his  vety 
heart,  and  yet  shoflfld  shoV  bllft 
the  worst.  He  was  wont  to  marvel,  what  'Btiade  toe'h. 
'li^ep  »up^Uch  a  stir  against  sin ;  what  harm  it  was  for  a 
'man  to  take  a  little  fdrbidden  pleasure:  -he  savi^'Wd 
'Such  hfeinousness  in  it,  that 'Christ  must  heeds  die 
for  it,  and  a  Chrrstless  world  bfe  etfefnally  tortuented 
in  bell.  ■Now^the  case  is  altered:  God  h^th  opened 
'his  eyes  to 'see  the  infexspfrfessibte ^^ileiress  in  sin. 

4 '6.  Th^  are  corivlinced  of  their  own  fliisfery'b^r 
reason  of  sif,.     Th^y  iiirho  before  read  thfe  threats  of 
*'Eph.i.^3.  tlTitt»..ii;6;  4  iJ<»hn>iii.3. 


G<yi'a  law,  jts  mea  do,  the  story  of  fore^  yeai^  nbisB 
ftiwj  it  their  own  story,  ^ni  perceive  they  read  theii; 
fwn  doom,  as  if  they  found  their  o.wn  names  wjittew 
m  the  owrse,  or  he?r4  the  laiw  say,  as  Nathan,  them 
ort  tk.0  man.*  The  vwath  of  God  seewed  to  him 
before  but  ^  a  storm  to  a  man  in  a  drjf  houjse^  or  as 
the  pains  of  the  sick  to  the  healthful  standet-b^r  b«*t 
now  he  finds  the  disfeas.e  is  hia  own^  an4  f<^U  himself 
a  condemned  man,  that  he  is  de^d  and  damuied  m 
point  of  law,  and' that  nothing  was  wanting  but  mere 
ex€cution  to  make  him  absolutely  and  irceicovfitably 
miserable.  ^  This  is,  a  woxk  of  the  Spirit,  wrottgiht  ioi 
S,ome  measure  in  ail  the  r^gen/erate.  How  should 
he  come  to  Christ  for  pardon,  that  did  not  first  "find 
himself  guilty,,  and  condemned?  or  for  life,  thai 
flever  found  hiwself  spiritually  dead  ?  The  whole 
need  mi  a rphydcim,  bui  fh^,  thfiii  am  ^k^  The 
discovery  of  the  remedy,  a^  soo©  i^s  the  misery, 
mu^t  needs  prevent  a  gre^t  part  ol  the  trouble.  And 
p§rhap,s  the  joyful  apprehensions  of  metqy  may  make 
the  sense  pf  wisely  soo^^r.  foj;gotten . .-  . ) 

§  7.  They  are  also  coov-iaced  of  the  creature's  vanity 
and.  insuffiqienoy,  Every  roan  is  naturally  an  idolater* 
Our  heaijts  turned  from  Go4  in  our  first  fall;  and), 
ever  since,  the  qpeature  hath  been  our  god.  This  is 
the  grand  sin  of  nature.  Every  unregenerate  man 
ascribes  to  the  creature  divine  preiiogatived,  and  allows 
it  the  highest  room  in  his  soul;  or,  if  he  is  convinced 
of  cpisery,  he  flies  to.  it  as  his  saviour.  Indeed,'God 
and  his  Christ  shall  be  called  Lord  and  Savipur ;  but 
the  real  expectation  is  from  the  creature,  an:d  thf 
nrork  of  God  is  laid  upon -it.  Pleasure,  profit,  and 
honour,  are  the  natural  man's  trinity;  and  his  carnal 
self  is  these  in  unity.  It  was  our  first  sin,  to  aspire 
*  3  Sam.  xii.  7.  t  Luke  v.  31. 


to  be  as  gods ;  and  it  is  the  greatest.sin  that  is  propa- 
gated in  our  nature  from  generation  to  generation. 
When  God  should  guide  us,  we  guide  ourselves ; 
when  he  should  be  our  sovereign,  we  rule  ourselves: 
the  laws  which  he  gave  us  we  find  fault  with,  and 
would  correct ;  and  if  we  had  the  making  of  them,' 
we  would  have  made  them  otherwise:  when  he  should 
take  care  of  us,  (and  must,  or  we  perish)  we  will  takd 
care  for  ourselves;  when  we  should  depend  on  him 
in  daily  Receivings,  we  had  rather  have  our  portion  in 
our  own  hands:  when  we  should  submit  to  his  pro- 
vidence, we  usually  quarrel  at  it,  and  think  we  could 
make  a  better  disposal  than  God  hath  made.  When 
we  should  study  and  love,  trust  and  honour  God,  we 
study  and  love,  trust  and  honour  our  carnal  selves. 
Instead  of  God,  we  would  have  all  men's  eyes  and 
dependence  on  us,  and  all  men's  thanks  returned 
to  us,  and  would  gladly -be  the  only  men  on  earth 
extolled  and  admired  by  all.  Thus  we  are  naturlally 
our  ovyn  idols.  But  down  falls  this  Dagon,  w^heri 
God  does  once  renew  the  soul.  It  is  the  chief  design 
of  that  great  work,  to  bring  the  heart  back  to  God 
himself.  He  convinceth  the  sinner,  that  the  creature 
can  neither  be  his  God,  to  make  him  happy,  nor  his 
Christ,  to  recover  him  from  his  misery,  and  restore 
him  to  God,  who  is  his  happiness.  God  does  this, 
not  only  by  hi's  word,  but  -by  providence  also.  This 
is  the  reason,  why  affliction  so  frequently  concurs 
in  the  work  of  conversion.  Arguments  which  speak 
to  the  quick,'  will  force  a  hearing,  when  the  most 
powerful  words  are  slighted:  If  a  .sinner,  made  his 
credit  his  god,  and  God  shall  cast  him  into  the  lowest 
disgrace,  or  bring  him,  who  idolized  his  riches,  into  a 
condition  wherein  they  cannot  help  him ;  or  cause 
them  to  take  wing,  and  fly  away;  what  a  help  is  here 


to  this  work  of  conviction!  If  a  man.  made  pleasure 
his  god,  whatsoever  a  roaving  eye,  a  curious  ear,  a 
greedy  appetite,  or  a  lustful  heart  could  desire,  and 
God  should  take  these  from  hipn,  or  turn  them  into 
gall  or  wormwood;  what  a  help  is  here  to  conviction  ! 
When  God  shall  cast  a  man  into  languishing  sickness, 
and  inflict  wounds  on  his  heart,  and  stir  up  against 
him  his  own  conscience,  and  then,  as  it  were,  say  to 
him,  "  Try.  if  your  credit,  riches,  or  pleasures  can 
help  you.  Can  they  heal  your  wounded  conscience  ? 
Can  they  liow  support  your  tottering  tabernacle  ?  Can 
they  keep  your  departing  soul  in  your  body  ?  or  save 
you  from  mine  everlasting  wrath  ?  or  redeem  your 
soul  from  eternal  flames?  Cry  aloud  to  them,  and 
see  now  whether  these  will  be  to  you  instead  of  God 
and  Christ,"  O  how  this  works  now  with  the  sinner ! 
Sense  acknowledges  the  truth,  and  even  the  flesh 
is  convinced  of  the  creature's  vanity,  and  our  very 
deceiver  is  undeceived. 

§  8.  The  people  of  God  are  likewise  convinced  of 
the  absolute  necessity,  the  full  sufficiency,  and  perfect 
excellency  of  Jesus  Christ :  as  a  man  in  famine  is 
convinced  of  the  necessity  of  food ;  or  a  man  that 
had  heard  or  read  his  sentence  of  condemnation,  of 
the  absolute  necessity  of  pardon  ;  or  a  man  that  lies 
in  prison  for  debt,  is  convinced  of  bis  need  of  a  surety 
to  discharge  it.  Now  the  sinner  feels  an  unsupport- 
abte  burden  upon  him,  and  sees  there  is  none  but 
Christ  can  take  it  off:  he  perceives  the  law  proclaims 
him  a  rebel,  and  none  but  Christ  can  make  his  peace : 
he  is  as  a  man  pursued  by  a  lion,  that  must  perish  if  he 
finds  not  a  present  sanctuary :  he  is  now  brought  to 
this  dilemma  ;  either  he  must  have  Christ,  to  justify 
him,  or  be  eternally  condemned ;  have  Christ  to  save 
him,  or  burn  in  hell  for  ever ;  have  Christ  to  bring 


bjm  to  God,  of  be  shut  out  of  bis  presence  everlas-i 
tingly !  And  no  wonder  if  he  cry  as  the  martyr, 
^'  None  but  Christ !  none  but  Christ  I"  Not  gold, 
but  bread,  will  satisfy  the  hungry  ;  nor  any  thing  but^ 
pardon  will  comfort  the  eondemned.  All  things  avQ 
t^Qunt&d  hut  dv/ng  nowx  that  he  may  wki  Christ;  and 
what  was  gain,  he  counts  loss  for  Christ.^  As  the 
sinner  sees  his  misery,  and  the  inability  of  himself, 
and  all  things  to  relieve  him,  so  he  perceives  there  is 
no  saving  mercy  a«t  of  Chfist.  He  sees,  thoijgh  the 
creature  cannot;  and  himself  cannot,  yet  Christ  can. 
Though  the  figleaves  of  our  own  unrighteous  righte-> 
©usness  are  too  short  to  cover  our  nakedness,  yet 
the  righteousness  of  Christ  is  large  enough  :  ours  is 
disproportionate  to  the  justice  of  the  law,  but  Christ's 
extends  to  every  tittle.  If  he  intercede,  there  is  no 
denial ;  such,  is  the  dignity'  of  his  person,  and  the 
value  of  his  merits,  that  the  Father  grants  all  he 
desires.  Before,  the  sinner  knew  Christ's  excellency, 
as  a  blind  man  knows  the  light  of  the  sun  ;  but  now, 
as  one  that  beholds  its  glory. 

§  9.  (5.)  After  this.,deep  conviction,  the  will  disco- 
vers also  its  change.  As  for  instance^ — The  sin,  which 
the  understanding  pronounces  evil,  the  will  turns 
from  with  abhorrence.  Not  thai;  the  sensitive  appetite 
is  changed,  or  any  way  made  to  abhor  its  object :  but 
whep  it  would  prevail  against  reason,  and  carry  us  to 
sin  against  God,  instead  of  scripture  being  the  rule, 
and  reason  the  master,  aqd  sense  the  servant;  this 
disorder  and  evil  the  will  abhors..-^The  misery  also 
Svhich  sin  hath  procured,  is  not  only  discerned,  hut 
bewailed.  It  is  impossible  that  the  soul  should  now 
look,  pither  on  its  trespass  against  God,  or  yet  on  its 
pwn  self.proeured  calamity,  without  some  contrition. 
*  Phil.  iii.  7,  8.    - 


He  that  truly  discerns  that  he  hath  killed  Christ,  and 
killed  himself,  will  surely  in  soxae'^easme  he  pricked 
to  the  heart.*     If  he  cannot  wieep,  he  can  heartily 
groan ;  and  his  heart  feels  i^fhat  his  understanding  seeSi 
The  creatore  is  renounced  as  vanity,  and  turned  otlt 
of  the  heai-t  with  disdain.    Not  that  it  is  undervalued, 
Or  the  use  of  it  disclaitn'ed  ;  but  its  idolatrous  abuse, 
and  its  unjust  usurpation.     Can  Christ  be  the  way^ 
where  the  creat^nre  is  th6  end  ?    Can  we  seek  to  Christ 
to  reconcile  us  to  dod,  while  in  our  hearts  we  prefer 
the  creatafe  before  him  ?    In  the  soul  of  every  unre* 
generate  man,  1?he  creature  is  both  god  and  chrl^t* 
As  turning  frorti  the  creiiture  to  God  and  not  hf 
Christ,  is  no  true  ^turning;  -so  believing  in  Christ, 
while  the  creature  hath  ourhearts,  is  no  true  believing* 
0«r  a'v«(ii?si'On,ft'om  sin,  renouncing  oar  idols j  and  out 
rt^ht  receiving  Christ,  is  all  but  one  ^ivork,  which 
God  ever  perfects  where  he  begins.     At  the  same 
tiesfe  the  will  cleaves  to  God  the  Father,  and  to  Chfist. 
Having  been  conviBCed  that  nothing  else  can  be 
his  happiness,  the  sinner  now  finds  it  is  in  God. 
Convinced  also,  that  Christ  alone  is  able  and  willing 
to  make  peace  for  ihitti,  he  most  affectionately  accepts 
of  Christ  for  Saviour  and  Lord.     Paul's  preaching 
was  n^epeHMhae  toward  Ood,  and  faith  toward  our  Lord 
J^m&  ChristJ^     And  life  eteuMtial  consists,  first  in 
']Mmi^n^l:he '(M^  ime'Qad;  and  then  Jem^.  Christ, 
f^'Abm  he  hixth  s^t.^     To  take  the  Lord  for  our  God, 
is  the  nafturai  part  of  the  covenant ;  the  supernatural 
pwt  is,  to  take  Christ  for  our  Redeemer.    The  forttter 
is  first  nfedesSary,  and  implied  in  the  latter.   To  accept 
Ch*(8t  without  affection  and  love,  is  not  justifying 
Failih.   <N>or 'd'oes  lo^e  follow  as  a  fruit,  but  immediately 
oohcurs;  *fdr  fatth  is  the  receiving  of  Christ  with  the 
*  ')lcteii.3?.  t  Acts  sx.  21.  J  JoHttxvii.3. 

64  THE   CHARACTER   OF   THOSE      , 

whole  soul.  'He  that  loveth  father  or  mother  more 
than  Christ,  is  not  worthy  of  hini,*  nor  is  justified 
by  hjm.  Faith  accepts  him  for  Saviour  and  Lord  : 
for  in  both  relations  \viir  he  be  received,  or  not  at 
all.  Faith  not  only  acknowledges  his  sufferings,  and 
accepts  of  pardon  and  glory,  but  acknowledges  his 
sovereignty,  and  submits  to  his  government  and  way 
pf  salvation. 

;^  10.  (6.)  As  an  essential  part  of  the  character 
of  God*s  people,  they  now  enter  into  a  cordial  cove- 
nant with  Christ.  The  sinner  was  never  strictly, 
nor  comfortably,  in  covenant  with  Christ  till  now. 
He  is  sure  by  the  free  offers,  that  Christ  consents; 
and  now  he  cordially  consents  himself;  and  so  the 
agreement  is  fully  made. — With  this  covenant  Christ 
delivers  up  himself  in  allfcomfortable  relations  to  the 
sinner;  and  the  sinner  delivers  up  himself  to  be 
saved,  and  ruled  by  Christ.  Now  the  soul  resolutely 
concludes,  "  I  have  been  blindly  led  by  flesh  and 
Just,  by  the  world  and  the  devil,  too  long,  almost  to 
my  utter  destruction ;  I  will  now  be  wholly  at  the 
disposal  of  my  Lord,  who  hath  bought  me  with  his " 
blood,  and  will  bring  me  to  his  glory." 

'§11.  (7.)  I  add,  that  the  people  of  God  persevere 
in  this  covenant  to  the  end.  Though  the  believer 
may  bp  tempted,  yet  he  never  disclaidas  his  Lord, 
renounces  his  allegiance,  nor  repents  of  his  covenant; 
nor  can/he  properly  be  said  to  break  that  covenant, 
while  that  faith  continues,  which  is  the  condition  of  it. 
Indeed,  those  that  have  verbally  covenaiitedj  and  not 
cordially,  may  tread  under  foot>  the  blood  of  the  cove- 
nant, as  an  unholy  thing,  wherewith  they  were' sanc- 
tified, by  separation  from  those  without  the  church  ;* 
but  the  elect  cannot  be  so  deceived.-\  Though  this 
*  Matt.  X.  37.  t  Heb.  x.  29.  J  Matt.  x«v.  24. 


perseverance  be  certain  to  true  believers,  yet  it  is  made 
a  condition  of  their  salvation  ;  yea,  of  their  continued 
life  and  fruitfulness,  and  of  the  continuance  of  their 
justification,  though  not  of  their  first  justification 
itself.*  But  eterftally  blessed  be  that  hand  of  love, 
which  hath  drawn  the  free  promise,  and  subscribed 
and-  sealed  to  that  which  ascertains  us,  both  of.  the 
grace  which  is  the  condition,  and  the  kingdom  which 
on  that  condition  is  offered ! 

§  12.  Such  a^jB  the  essentials  of  this'people  of  Gpd^ 
Not  a  full  portraiture  of  them  in  all  their  excellencies, 
nor  all  the  notes  whereby  they  may  be  di5(pern^d. 
I  beseech  thee»  Reader^  as  thou  hast  the  hope  of  a 
Christian,  or  the  reason  of  a  man,  judge  thyself,  as 
one  that  must  shortly  be  judged,  by  a  righteous  (jrod, 
and  faithfully  answer  these  questions.  I  will  not 
.inquire  v^hether  thou  remember  the'time  or  the  order 
of  thiese  workings  of  the  Spirit ;  there  may  b6  much 
uncertainty  and  tiiistake  in  that,  If  thou  art  sure 
they  are  wrought  in  thee,  the  matter  is  not  so  greatj 
though  thou  know'  not  when  or  how  thou  camest  by 
theini.  But  carefully  examine  and  inquire,  hast  thou 
been  thoroughly  convinced  of  a  prevailing  depravation 
through  thy  .whole  soul  ?  and  a  prevailing  wicked- 
ness through  thy, whole  life?  and  how  vile  sin  is?  , 
and  that,  by  the  covenant  thou  hast  transgressed,  the 
least  sin  deserves  .eternal  death  ?  Dost  thou  consent 
to  the  law,  that  it  is  true  and  righteous,  and  perceive 
tlfysfelf  sentenced  to  this  death  by  it  ?  Hast  thou  seen 
the  utter  insufficiency  of  eviery  creature,  either  to  be 
itself  thy  happiness,  or  the  means  of  removing  this 
thy,  misery?  Hast  thou  been  convinced,  that,  thy 
happiness  is  only  in  God,  as  the  end  ;  and  in  CtiHst, 

*  John  viii.  31.   .    xv.  4.  6.  9.      Rom,  xi.  22.      Col.  i.  23. 
Rev.  ii.  35,  26,    iii.  Jl,  13./ 


W  '  tAe  tHARACTER  OP  'i'fadS* 

tklhe  way  to  him ;  iahd  IhSf  thou  Must  be  birdbght 
'to  God  thWugii  ehrist,  ibr  petish  eiiernally?  Hiast 
tlifou  seen  an  abfeo^ute  hecessity'of  thy  enjoying  Christ, 
aiiil  the  full  sufficiency  in  him,  to  db  for  theie  what- 
soever lliy 'case  requires?'  i^ast  thou  discovered  tfefe 
ekcellency  of  this  jpear/,  t6  be  Wdrrti  thy  selling  allfo 
Tmy  it?*  Have  thy  cohvibtforts  bfeen  like  tk^ie*<rfa 
inan  that  thirsts ^  ian'd  hot  iherely  a  change  iii  opinion, 
produced'by  reading  or  yducatioh  ?  Havfe  b6th  ^y 
«ih  and  iilTsery  beifiii  the  albhonrehce  atid  burdeii  of 
thy  soul  ?  If  thou  coiildst  not  'iVeep,  yet  cbuldst  thbii 
heartily 'groan  (ind'er  the  insU'^]()ortabte  Weight  of  bdth'? 
Sfest  thou  renounced  all  thy  own  righteousness ?  Hast 
Wioil  turfie'd  thy  idols  but  bf  thy  heart,  so  that  tbte 
cifeatdr^  hath  rib  more  the  sbvefeigrity,  but  is  flow 
k  servant  to  Gbd  and  Christ?  Dost  thou  'aotietJtof 
Christ  as  "thy  only  Savibiir,  and  expect  thy  jaMifiea- 
'tibn,  recovery,  and  glbi-y,  frbcft  hiift  albrie?  Are  Ms 
'la'^s  the  most  powerful  commahderis.  bf  thy  tifetmd 
)8oul  ?  Do  they  brdiiiariry  prevail  agairi^tthecbtamands 
of  the  flesh,  and  a^aiflst  the  greatest  interest  of  thy 
cVfeidit,  ^'tofit,  preaisiire,  br  life  ?  Has  Christ  the  highest 
%btfi  in  fhytieart  ahd  aflFeetibfts,  so  that  though  thoti 
Tialst  hot  love  Tiim  &s  thou  WbUldst,  yet  libthing  elise 
Is  loved  so  "tA dch  ?  HWi  thbu  to  this  end  iAade  ia 
■Heariy  cov^ti'knt  with  hitti,  afad  delivered  up  thyself  to 
hiba?  Is  it  thy  utmost  cEkVe  sirid  watchful  endeavour 
that  thou  mayest  be'found  feifhflil  in  this  covenant; 
and  thbugh  thbu  faliilitb  sin,  yet  WbultfdthbtTenounbe 
thy  bargain,  nor  Change  thy  Lord,  ribr  give  up  thyself 
*to  any  other  gbVeftimetxt  for  all  the  world  >-^If  this  be 
ti-uiy  the  case,  thou  art  one  bf  the  people  of  Godlti 
Triytext;  and  as  Sure  as  the  promise  of  God  ts  true, 
.^his  blessed  rest  remains  for  thee.  Oniy  see  thbu 
*  Matt.  xiii.-^6.   . 

ffMfl^mChni^t,'*  ^n4^4^re<g<i?«?<i;t  Hit- %^ 
mm  iraw  bac^,  hi^sQ^l  skall  h^^,  no  ^fe^tf^  # 
flJ»?r JirrPi^f  if  op  §pc^  work  b(e  foupcl  ^ii^iq  tfj^? ; 
^^k?v?fit})y  4eqeivec(  hpfirt  way  thi^k,  Qi[  hov^strg^g 
^pev^r  thy  f^l?p  hopp^  qtjay  be;  tfaou  wilt  ftgfi  to  tl^y 
WlJ»  PRcpBf  thfprpugl^  ,poilypr!^ion  prevea^  jt^  jhaf  tj^e 
rest  of  jil^e  saipte  belpng^  not  to  theei  Q  ^^  tfiq^ 
tf}prt  wi$^,^  f^ai  tfiQif.  wpiuldst  u^dersfqnd  t^js,  (hat 
tJ}X)U  wqu^st  fon^ider  thy  \atter  end !  §  Tiiat  yet,  w^ilf 
t.\iy  spul  is  ifi  th^  bpdy  ^n^  a  price  in  thy  hand,\\  Jjnd 
^Rpprt,i|fljity  aqd  hppe  before  thee,  tbJne  ears  tpay  be 
ffB.^>  .^n^  thy  he^ft  yield  to  thp  pers]^asjpns  of  Qod, 
^k^}  iSP  thpu  migjitest  rest  among  his  people/ and 
.^njoy  the  i^herjtqnce  of  the  minj^  ift  light !% 
Au<^  I?'  Tfjat  tjijjs  reSit  shall  be  epjoyf fi  bty  the  pepplp 
fii?pPfl>  i?  a  truth  yfhick  thp  ^criptqrg,  if  i|s  testimpny 
|i(l^ further  neecjed,  olegifly  ^^serts  ip  ^  varipfy  of  ways; 
^^f_  for  inst£jn,ce,  That  they  ^T^Jqre-ordq,j^e^  to  it,  and 
U  fw  th^-  God  is  not  aifha^e4  to  pe,  galled  their 
Jp^t^,fpr  he  hatJipr^(f,rei^for  thpm  a  ^y^*  They  ar/e 

J?  V^<^¥/; /%  M^/^ifffP^  «»*  inkeritai^f,  Ifeiifg 
^edesti^^tfif  ^^ci^r^^'^^Jh?  ^ry>ose  of  Mj(i  wltp 
j!f^p,r/c^h  afjt  things  ^^4he  couif^fil  qf/tk  own  will.^^ 
^,p«jj  ^^oM»  he  ^id  pred^estimte,  theni  he  also  gtpri- 
£i^-\i  yfho  cf I?  bereave ^is  people  9fi^|  rest  yvhif^h 
I^fy}gf^pd  /pr  ,thm,hy,.^fi^'?  et^^^.PWAeJ'T 

,^^pjt^re  teljl^  u?,  they  argt^^i^deeme^  t<f  flfis  r0.  j^y 
^^  Iflpqd  of  tfefus  we  have  boldness  tq  enter  injlp  thfi 
Ao%^j|HH  ^^^ether  th^t  ^e;ntrance  jpea^^  by  fa^th^Pjd 
^my^  te»  ^^^t  ^"i^  P°^^^§^'°^  l^Sf^ft^T-  Tl^er^fpje 

*  John  XV.  4.  *:"'      t  Matt,  adriv.  13,  %  Heb.  x.  38, 

§  .I^1i.,S!{^.^?9.     II  I^rgv.  xvii.  3^.  %  Col.  i.  12. 

§§  Rom.  ?m.  30.       ill  Heb.  X.  19. 

68  THE    CHiiRACTER  6f   THOSE 

the  saints  in  h^ven  sitig  a  n^to  song  qnto  him  who 
has  tedeemed  them  to  Odd  In/  Jiis  blood,  out  of  every 
Mndredn,  and  iongwCj  and  people,  and  nation,  andjnade 
them  kings  and  priests  unto  God:*  Either  Clirist  then 
must  lose  his  blood  and  sufferings,  and  never  see  of 
the  travail  of  his  soul,  or  else  there  remavneth  a  rest  to 
the  people  of  God.— In  scripture  this  rest  is  promised' 
tor  them.  As  the  firmament  with  stars,  so  are  the 
sacred  pages  bespiangled  with  these  divine  engage- 
ments. Christ  says,  fear  not,,  little  Jloch^for  it  is 
^our  Father's  good  pleasure  to  give  yQii'  the  kmgdom.'f 
J  appoint  unto  you.  a  kingddtn,  as  my  Father  hath 
appointed  unto  me;  that  ye  niay  eat  and  drink  at  my 
table  in,  my  kingdQm.%  All  the  means  of  graCe,  the 
operations  of  the  Spirit. upon  the  soul,  and  gtacious 
actings  of  th,e  saints,  every  command  to  repent  and 
believe,  to  fast  and  pray,  to  knock  and  seek,  to  strive 
and  labour,  to  run  and  fight,  prove  that  there  remains 
a  rest  for  the  people  of  Gdd.  The  spirit  would  never 
kindle  in  us  suCh  strong  desires  after  heaven,  i^iich 
love  to  Jesus  Christ,  if  we  should  not  receive  what 
we  desire  and  love.  He  that  guides  our  feet  into  the 
wayof  peaci,^  will  undoubtedly  bring  us  to  the  end 
of  peace.  How  nearly  are  the  means  and  end  con- 
joined! The  kingdom  of  heaven  suffereth  violence, 
and  the  violent  take  it  by  force:\\  They  that  j(fbZZoz« 
Christ  in  the  regeneration,  shall  sit  upon  thrones  of 
ghry.^ — Scripture  assures  us,,  that  the  saints  have 
the  beginnings,  foretastes,  earnests,  and  seals  of  this 
rest  here-  The  kingdom  of  God  is  withiri  them.** 
Though  they  have  pot  seen  Christ,  yet' loving  him, 
arid  believing  in  him,  they  rejoice  with  joy  unspeakable 

*  Rev.  V.  8— 10.       tLukexii.  32.         $  Luke  xxii.  29, 30, 
§  Lirke,  i,  75.  ||Matt.  xi.;  12,  ''  i    ^  Matti  xix.  28, 

*t  liuke,  xvii.  21, 

WHO   SttALt   ENJOY    THIS   REST.  69 

und  fall  of  ghry ;  receiving  the  end  of  their  fedth, 
even  the  salvation  •  of  their  soulsi*  They  rejoice  in 
hope  of  the  glory  of  God.-\  And  does  God  seal 
them  with  that  holy  spirit  of  promise^  which 'is  the 
earnest  of  their  inheritance,  and  will  he  deny  the  full 
possession  ?%  Jhe  scrfpture  also  mentions,  by  name, 
those  who  kaVe  enteffd  iato  this  rest.  As  Enoch 
Abraham,  Lazarus,  the  thief  that  was  crucified  with 
Christ,  &c.  And  if  there  be  a  rest  for  these,  sure 
there  is  a  rest  ft|ir  all  believers.  But  it  is  vain  to 
beisip  up  sCripture-proofs,  seeing  it  is  the  vety  end 
6f  scripture,  to  b6  a  guide  to  lead  us.  to  this  bl|esse<l 
state,  and  to  be  the  charter  and  grant  by  which  we 
hold  all  our  title  to  it.  "" 

§14.  Scripture  not  only  proves  that  this  rest 
remains,  for  the  people  of  God,  but  also  that  it  remains 
for  none  but  them,  so  that  the  rest  of  the  world  shall 
have  no  part  in  it.  Without '^'holiness  no  man  shall 
s€6  the  Lord.  ^  Except  a  rtian  be  .iorn<  again,  he 
cannot  see  the  kingdom  of  God.  He  that  helieveth 
not  the .  Son  shall  not  see  life,  but  the  wrath  of 
Qod  abideth  on' Mm.^'^  No  whoremonger,  nor  unclean 
'person,  nor  ■fiovetousJman,  who  is  an  idolater,  hath 
any  inheritance  in  the  Mngdoin  df  Christ  and  of 
■God.^  The  wicked  shall  be  turned  into  hell,  and 
all  the  nations  that  forget  God.**  They  all  shall 
be  damned,  who  believe  not  the  truth,  but  have 
pleasure  in-iip.righteousness.lff  The  Lord  Jesus  shall 
come,  in  flaming  fire  taking  vengeance  on  them  that 
Jmow  not  Gad,  and  that  obey  not  the  gospel  of  our 
Lm-d  Jesus  Christ;  who  shall  be  punished  with  ever- 
lasting destruction  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord, 

*  1  Pet.  i,  8,  9.  t  RoH>'  V.  3.       /   t  ,Eph.  i.  13,  14. 

§  Heb.  xii.  14,  i|  John,  iii.  3.  36.    %  Eplj.  v.  5. 

**  Ps^lm,  ix.  17.         ft  3  Thes.  ii.  J2.  ' 

70  TBP   CJiiLRAfifES.  OJ  XHQSil^ 

and  from  the  ghvy  of  Us  pm^r*     Had  ^^e  upgpdly 
Tetwn^d.  before   tbeir  Hfe   wa?  expired*  and  l?e§^ 
heartijy  willing  to  accept  of  Christ  for  thejr  Sayiejqj: 
and  their  King,  and  to  he  saved  by  bim  iij  bii# 
way,  and  upon  bis  most  restsQW^lp  te?wsi,  tbey  pigbt 
have  beeq  saved.    Gsnd  freely  i^ffemi  them  Ufej  ?pd 
they  would  not  accept  it.    The  pleasures  of  tjbe  fte^^ 
seeniied  more  desirable  to  them  than  the  gl.<?fy  of  thp 
saints.    Satan  offerod  ^&m^  thei  oije,  and  Qqd  pffiBi-f^ 
them  the  other ;  and  they  had  fr^j^Jib^^y  to  cbppse 
which  they  would,  and  they  chose  the  pleQ^pires  qf 
mn,  for  a  season,  before  tbe  everlasting   rest  wijth 
Christ.    And  is  it  not  a  righteous  thing  thiat  they 
should  be  denied  that  which  they  would  not  PiQc^^i 
Wheu  God  pressed  theija  50  earnestly,  and  p^Pli^ed 
them  so  importunately,  to  come  in,  gnd  yet  tfc^y 
would  notj  where  should  tjney  be  but  i^mwig  tb©  ,<ft^* 
Viithmt^    Though  man  be  so  wjpkedijtl^at  be  will 
»ot  yiftld  till  the  ipit^ty  fOiWff  ef  gr^Ci?  pir§v?j}  wftjj 
Jlim,  ygt  Sitill  we  may  truly  ;say,  that  he mt^  ^e§^ye^^> 
if  he  yfW\,g»  Gpd's  terms.,,  IJigin^Alityfeging9iQra|, 
fifH^  lying  jn  wilfjjl  w,ic^4ni«ss,  i^  pp^^prf  ,e;sSie,u#g,to 
Jiip,  tfesp  it  ,is  to  ^  ^ultef^f  tlj?i,t  t^e  ftan^^^  Iqvf  ^ 
Qwjn  wift;,  or  to  a  njft%^©§5  pe^r^on  th^t  he  cf^i^^ot^l^vit 
bate  bis  own  bro^h^r :  is  Jl;ije  j^pt  so  $^ii€^  the  aVjC^, 
and  d^erv:iii|g  of  sp  much  (t|ie  ^prqr  pu|iis^e|[\t,? 
Sinners^sbaillj^ajJ^h^JbiilaB^^jai^  i^&\ic  pwn  ^wijls  ji 
lieU  for  ever.  ^'\H;e;tt  is  a  jaMf3#^  itoi;mgpt  by^llfj^- 
leDtse,  according  to  t^e  natu^ce  qf  this  rat\pnal  ^lib^ji^. 
If  singers  Qould  bftt^fbe^i  .^ay^.  it  w^s  Iq^^  pf^Qp4,^IUI 
flot(rf  U5,  it  wpj).l(d,gu,\et,tl\eir  cij^q^f  jc;g^,  ,^pi^  ^|e 
their  tprpM^pt^,- a?id  jaa^e  h^el,!  to  5t)),ea»  to  ^  »9  feej^l. 
But  to  reniember  their  wilfulness,  will  feed  the  fire, 
and  cause  the  ^worm  of  coQsdepce  never  to  dieA^ 
*  2  Thess.  i,  7«-9,  t  M^K^  W  #•  ^' 

WHO   SHAt.!,   ENJOY  THIS   RBST.  71 

§  16j  It  is  the  will  of  God  that  this  i-est  should 
yet  remaiii  foi'  his  peo|ile,  and  not  be  enjoyeitiU  th«y 
dome  to  another  world. — Who  shOttld  dispose  of  tbt 
6re!atinr^s,  4)01  he  that  blade  them  ?  You  may  as  weH 
risk,  why  have  \ire  not  spring  and  harvest,  withoat 
wi!it^?  OF),  Why  is  the  eafth  below,  aad  the  heavens 
alfove  ?  asiiwhy  we  have  hot  rest  on  earth  >  All  things 
mast  Connie  to  thdr  perfection  by  degrees.  The 
t^hgfest  man  must  first  be  a  child.  The  greasiest 
scholar  must  first,begin  in  his  alphabet.  The  tallest 
bak  ^as  once  an  acorn.  This  li-fe  is  our  infancy  4 
and  would  .Vve  be  perfect  in  the  Womb,  or  borq  at  fuU 
stature  ?-*-lf  bur  rest  Was  here,  most  of  God's  provi'- 
1dei3G)es  must  be  useless.  Should  God  lose  the  glory 
bf  4iis  church's  miraculous  deliverances,  ^nd  the  fall 
tyf  Ills  enemies,  that  men  may  have  thteir  happiness 
h^ere  ?  If.  we  were  all  happy,  innocent,  and  perfect, 
■what  use  was  thiere  for  the  glorious  works  of  our 
,  sanctification,  justification,  and  future  salvation?--^ 
if  we  Wanted  nothing,  we  should  not  depend  on  God 
so'closely,  nor  call  upon  him  so  earnestly.  Howlittle 
Bfabuld'he  hear  from  uSj  if  we  had  what  we  would 
liave !  God  would  never  have  had  such  songs  of 
^iPSrsefvom  Moses  at  the  Red  S6a,  and  in  the  wilder- 
ness from  Deborih  and  Hannah,  from  David  and 
fflezekiah,  if  they  had  been  the  choosers  of  their 
'condition.  Have  not  thy  own  highest  praises  to  God, 
iteader,  bfeeft  occasioned  by  thy  dangers  or  miseries  ^ 
fBhe  ^greatest  glory  and  praise  God  has  through  the 
world,  is  for  redeihption,TecDftciliation,  and^lvation 
by  Christ ;  and  was  not  man's  misery  the  ocoSsioa 
bf  that  ?^— And  where  God  loses  the  opportunity-<of 
cxtereisirig  bis  mercies,  man  must  needs  lose  the 
tiappiness  of  enjoying  them.  Where  God  loses  his 
praise,  man  will  certainly -k«ie*his  comforts.    O  the 

72  THE    CHAl^ACTER    OE   THOSE 

sweet  comforts  the  sSiints  have  had  iq  return  to  thejr 
prayers!  How  should-  we  know  .what  'a  tender- 
hearted Father  we  have,  if  we  had  not,  as  the  picodigal, 
been  denied  the  husks  of  earthly  plfeasure  and  profit? 
We  should  never  have  felt  Christ's  tender  heart,  if 
we  had  not  felt  ourselves  weary  and  kedxy  ladetij 
hungry  and  thirsty,  poor  and  contrite.  It  is  a  delight 
to  a  soldier,  or  traveller,  to  look  back  on  his  escapes 
when  they  are  over;  and  for  a  saint  in  heaven  to  look 
back  on  his  sins  and  sorrows  upon  earth,  his  fears 
and  tears,  his  enemies  and  dangers,  his  wants  and 
calamities,  must  (n,ake  his  joy  more  joyful.  Therefore 
th6  blessed^  in  pra.ising  the  Lamb,  mentioned  his 
redeeming  them  out  of  every  nation,  and  kindred,  and 
tongue;  and  so,  out  of  their  misery,  and  wants,  arid 
sins,  and  indMng  th^m  kings  and  priests  to  God.  But 
if  they  had  had  nothing  biit  content  and  rest  on  earth, 
what  room  would  there  have  been  for  these, rejoicings 

§  16.  Besides,  we  are  not  capable  of  rest  upon 
earth. — Can  a  soul,  that  is  so  weak  in  grace,  so  prone 
to  sin,  so  nearly  joined  to  such  a  neighbour  as  this 
flesh,  have  full  content  and  rest  in  such  a  case?- 
What  is  soul-rest,;but  our  freedom  from- sin,  and 
imperiPectionSj  and  enemies?  And  caii  the  sout  have 
rest  that  is  pestejfed'  With  all  these,  arid  that^  conti- 
nually? Why  do  Christians  so  often  cry  out  in  the 
htiguage  of' Vaa],  O' wretched  man  that  Tarn!  who 
shall  deliver  me?*  What  makes  iheva press  towards 
the  mark,  and  rM«.  that  they  may  obtain,  and  strive  to 
enter  in,  if  they  are  capable  of  rest  in  thteir  present 
condition  ? — And  our  bodies  are  incapable,  as  well 
as  our  souls.  Theyarenot  now  tho^e  sunlike  bodies 
which  they  shall  be,  when  this  corruptible  hath  put 

*  Rom.  Vii,  24.  - 

WHO   SHALL  ENJOY   THIS    iaEST.  73 

on  incorrUption,  and  thi^  mortal  hath  put  on  immor- 
ialiiy.  They  are  our  prisons  and  our  burdens;  so 
full  of  infirmities  arid  defects,  that'  we  are  fain  to 
spfeud  most  of  our  time  in  repairing  them,  and  supply- 
ing their  continual  wants.  Is  it  possible  that  an 
immortal  soul  siiould  have  rest  in  such  a  distempered, 
noisome  habitation.  Surely  these  sickly,  weary, 
loathsome  bodies,  must  be  refined,  before  they  can 
be  capable  of  enjoying  rest.  The  objects  we  here 
enjoy  are  insufficignt  to  afford  us  rest.  Alas !  what 
is  there  in  all  the  world  to  givie  us  rest  ?  They  that 
have  most /of  it,  have  the  greatest  burden.  They 
that  set  most  by  it,  and  rejoice  most  in  it,  do  all  try 
out  at  last  of  its  vanity  and  vexation.  Men  promise 
themSelvtes  a  heaven  upon-  earth ;  biit  when  they 
come  to  enjoy  it,  it  flifes  from  them.  He  that  has 
ally  regard  to  the  wofks  of  the  Lord,  may  easily  see, 
that  the  very  end  of  them  is  to  take  down  our  idols, 
to  make  us  weary  of  the  world,  and  seeTc  our  rest  in 
him.  Where  does  he  cross  us  most,  but  where  ive 
promise  ourselves  most  content  ?  If  you  have  a  child 
you  dpte  upon,  it  becomes  your  sorrow,  tf  yoa 
have  a  friend  ybu  trust  in,  and  judge  anchahgedble, 
he  becomes  your  scourge.  Is  this  a  place  or  state  of 
Test  ?  And  as  the  objects  we  here  enjoy  are  insuffi- 
cient for  our  rest,  so  God,  who  id  sufficient,  is  hef^ 
little  enjoyed.  It  is  not  here  that  he  hath  prepaid 
the  presence-chamber  of  his  g^lory.  He  hath  drawn  tli^ 
curtain  between  us  and  him  :  We  are  far  from  him  as 
creatures,  and  further  as  frail  mortals,  and  furthest 
as  sinners.  We  hear  now  and  then  a  word  of  comfort 
from  him,  and, receive  his  love-tokens  to  keep  up  out 
hearts  and  hopes ;  but  this  is  not  our  fbll  enjoyraeljt. 
And' can  any  soul,  that  hath  made  Qod  bis  portion, 
as  everyone  hath  that,  shall  be  saved  by  him,  find  rest 


74  TH£    CHARACTEit   OF   THOSE 

in  so  vast  a  distance  from  him,,  and  so  seldom  and 
small  enjoyment  of  him  ? — -Nor  are  we  now  capable 
of  rest,  as  there  is  a  worthiness  must  go  before  it. 
Christ  will  give  the  crown  to  none  but  the  worthy. 
And  are  we  fit  for  the  crown  ^  before  we  have  over- 
come? or  for  the  prize,  before  we  have  run  the  race? 
or  to  receive  our  penny,  before  we  have  wrought- in 
the  vjneyard?  or  to  be  rulers  of  ten  Cities. before  we 
have  improved  our  ten  talents?  or  to  enter  into  the 
joy  of  our  Lord  before  we  have  well  done,  as  good 
and  faithful  servants  ?  God  will  not  alter  the  course 
of  jjistice,  to  giv^e  you  rest  before  you  have  laboured, 
nor  the  .crown  of  glory  till  you,  have  overcome..  There 
js  reason  enough  why  our  rest  should  remain  till  the 
life  to  come.  Take  heed,  then,  Christian  Reader, 
how  thou  darest  to  contrive  and  care  for  a  rest  on, 
earth ;  or  to  murmur  at  God  for  thy  trouble,  and, toil, 
arid  wants  in  the  flesh.  Poth  thy  poverty  weary 
thee  ?  Thy  sickness^  thy  bitter  enernies,  and  unkind 
friends?  Ij;  should  be  so  here.  Do  the  aboininations 
of  the  times,  the  sins  of  professors,  the  hardening  of 
the  wicked,  all  weUry  thee  ?  It  must  be  so  while 
thou  art  absent  from  thy  rest.  ,Po  thy  sins,  and  thy 
naughty  distempered  heart  weary  thee  ?  Be  thus 
wearied  more  and  more.  But  under  all  tl;iis  weariness, 
^t  thou  willing  to  go  to  God  thy  rest?  and  to  have 
fliy  ^warfare  accomplished  ?  arid  thy  race  and,"  labour 
ended  ?  If  not,  coinplain  more  of  thy  own  heart, 
and  get  it  more  vveary,  till  rest  seem  more  desirab],e. 
§  17.  I  have  but  one  thing  more  to  add^  for  the 
close  of  this  chapter.^that  the  spuls  of  believers  do 
enjoy  inconceivahle  blessfidoess  and  gloTy,-even  w.hUe 
they  remain  separated  from  their  bodies.  What  can 
be  more  plain  than  those  words  of  Paul, — We  are 
always  confident,  knowing  that  whilst  we  ar^  at  home, 


or  rather  sojournijig  in  the  body,  we  are  absent  Jrom 
the  Lord:  Jor  we  walk  by  faith,  not  by  sight.  We 
are  confident,  I  say,  and  willing  rather  to  be  absent 
firom  the  body,  and  to  be  present  with  the  Lord.* — . 
'  Or  those,  I  am  in  a  strait  betwixt  two,  hamng-a  desire! 
to  depart,  and  to  be  xeith  Christ,  which  is  far  better. % 
— If  Paul  had  not  expected  to  enjoy  Christ  till' the 
resurrection,  why  should  he  be  in  a  strait;  or  desire 
to  depart  ?  Nay,  should  he  not  have  been  loath  to 
depart  ujton  the  ^ery  same  grounds  ?  For  while  he 
was  in  the  flesh,  he  enjoyed  something  of  Christ..^— 
Plain  enough  is  that  of  Christ  to  the  thief,  To-day 
\  shalt  thou  be  with  me  in  Paradise.X — In  the  parable 
of  Dives  and  Lazarus,  it  seems  unlikely  Christ  would 
so  evidently  intimate  and  suppose  the  soul's  happiness 
or  niisery  presently  after  death,  i^  there  were  no  such 
niatteT.§  Our  Lord*s  argument  for  the  resurrection, 
supposes,  that,  God,  being  not'the  God  bf  the  dead, 
hut  of  the  living,\[  therefore  Abraham,  Isaax:,  and 
Jacob,  were  then  living  in  soul. — If  the  blessedness 
of  the  dead  that  die  in  the  Lord,'^weTe  only  in  resting 
in  the  grs^ve,  then  a  beast  or  a  stone^were  as  blessed  ; 
nay,  it  were. evidently  a  curse,  and  not  a  blessing. 
For  was  not  life  a  great  mercy  ?  Was  it  not  a  greater 
mercy  to  serve  God  and  to  do  good  ;  to  enjoy  all  the 
comforts  of  life,  the  fellovvship  of  saiflts,  the  comfort 
of  ordinances,  and  much  of  Christ  in  all,  thad  to  lie 
rotting  in  the  grave?  Therefore  some  further  blessed- 
ness is  there  promised.— How  else  is  it  said,  We  are 
come  to  the  spirits  ofjvst  men  made  perfect.**  Sure, 
at  the  resurrection,  the  body  will  be  made  perfect  as 
welt  as  the  spirit.     Does  not  scripture  tell  us,  that 

*  2  Cor,  V.  6— »f.  t  Phil.  \i  23.  %  Luke  xxiii'.  43. 

§  Luke  xvi.  19— 31.         R  Matt.  xxii.  32.        ^  Rev.  xiv.  13.  ■ 
**  Heb.  iii.  22,  S3. 


Enoch  and  Elias  are  takien  up  alrfeady  ?   Ahd  shdll  we 

t;|iink  they  possess  that  gtory  alone  ?— ^Did  not  Peter, 

James,  and  John,  see  Moses. also  with  Christ  on  the 

mount?  yet  the  scripture  saith,  Moses  died..   And 

is'it  lively  that  Christ  deluded  their  senses,' in  showing 

thera  Moses,  if  he  should  not  partake  of  thdt  glory 

till  the  resurrection  ? — 'And  is^not  that  of  Stephen  as 

plain  as  we  can  desire  ?      Lord  Jesvis,  receive  my 

spirit.*  •  Surely,  if  the  Lord  receive  it,  it  is  neither 

asleep,  nor  dead,  nor  annirhilated;  but  it  is  where  hp 

iSy  and  beholds  his  glbry; — That  of  the  wise  man  is 

of  the  same  import :  The  spirit  shall  return  unto  God 

who  gave  it,f     Why  are  we  said  to  have  eternal  lifei 

^d  that  to  know  God  is  life  eternal;  and  that  a 

believer  on  the  Son  hath  everlasting  Ufe  ?    Or  how  is 

the  kingdom  of  God  within  us?    If  there  be  as  great 

an  interruption  of  our  life  as  till  the  resufrection,  this 

is  no  eternal  life,  nor  everlasting  kingdom. — The  cities 

of  Sodom' and  Gomorrah  are  spoken  of  as  siiffering 

the  vengeance  of  eternal  fire !%  ^  And  if  the  wicked 

already  suflFer'  eternal  fire,  then,  no  doubt,  but  the 

godly  enjoy  eternal  blessedness. — When  John  saw 

his  glorious  revelations,  be  is  said  to  be  in  the  Spirit, 

and  to- be  carried  away  in  the  Spirit.^     And  when 

Paul  was  caught  up  to  the  third  heaven,  he  knew  not, 

whether  in  the  body  or  out  of  the:  body.  \\   This  i  mplies, 

that  spirits  are  papable  of  these  glorious  things,  without 

the  help  of  their  bodiies.— ^Is  not  so  inuch  implied, 

when  John  says,  /  saw  under  the  altar  the  souls  of 

them  that  were  slain  for  the  word  of  God? ^ — When 

Christ  says.  Fear  'n6t  them  who  kill  the  body,  hat  ard 

not  able  to  kill  the  soul,**  does  it  not  plainly  imply, 

Acts  vii,  39.  -j-  Eccl.  xii.  7,  %  Jude  ver.  7. 

I  Rev.  i.  10.  iv.  2.  \\  2  Cor.  xii.  3.  f  Rev.  vi.  0. 

**  Matt,  X.  38. 


that  when  wicked  men  have  killed  out  bodies,  that 
is,  have  separated  the  souls  from  them,  yet  the  souls 
are  still  alive?  The  soul  of  Christ  \yds  alive  when 
his  body  was  dead,  and  therefore  so  shall  be  ours  too. 
This  appears  by  his  words  to  the  thief,  To-day  shaU- 
thou  be  with  me  in  Paradise;  and  also  by  his  voice 
on  the  cross.  Father,  into  thy  hands  I  commend  ihy 
Spirit*  If  the  spirits  o{  those  that  were  disobedient 
in  the  days  of  Noah,  were  in  prisonj-^  that  is,  in  a 
living  and  suffering  state ;  then  certainly  the  separate' 
spirits  of  the  just  are  in  an  opposite  condition  of 
happiness.  Therefore,  faithful  souls  will  no  sooner 
leave  their  prisons  of  flesh,  but  angels  shall  be  their 
convoy ;  Christ,  with  all  the  perfected  spirits  of  the 
just,  will  be  their  companions  ;  heaven  will  be  their 
residence,  and  Qod  their  happiness.  Wheii  such  die, 
•  they  may  boldly  and  beltevingly  say,  as  Stephen, 
Lord  Jesus,  receive  my  spirit;  ?ind  commend  it,  as 
Christ  did,  into  a  Father's  hands.  ; 

*  Luke  xxiii.  46.  t  l  !*«*•«'•  29,  SO. 

78  '     THE    SREAT  -MISERY   OF   THOSE 


CHAP.  V.     . 

TJie  Great  Misery  of  thosi  who  lose  the  Saints'  Rtst. 

§  1.  The  Keader,  if  unregenerate,  urged  to  consider  what  the  losi 
of  heaven  will  be.  §2.  (1.)  The  loss  of  heaven  particuliirljr; 
includes,  §3.  (1.).  The  personal pe:rfection  of  the  saints;  §  4.  (2.), 
God  hjlnself J  §5.  (3.)  all  delightful  affections  towards  Qpd; 
§  6.  (4.)  the  blessed  society  of  angels  and  glorified  spirits,  §  7. 
(11.)  The  aggravations  of  the  loss  of  heaven  :'§  8.  (1.)  The 
understanding  of  the  ungodly  will  then  be  cleared  ;  §  9.'  (2.) 
also  enlarged;  §  10.  (3.)  'Their  consciences  will  m^ke  a  true  and 
close  application.  §  11.  (4.)  Their  affections  will  be  more  lively: 
§12 — 18.  (5.)  Their  memories  will  be  large  and  strong.    §  19. 

CJ!oticl'Usion  of  the  chapter.  ; 


§  1.  If  thou,  Readei-,  art  a  stranger  to  Christ,  and 
to  the  holy -nature  and  lifer  of  his  people,  who  are 
befora  described,  and  shalt  livjs  and  die  in  this  condi- 
tion, let  me  tell  thee,  thou  shalt  never  partake  of  the; 
joys  of  heaven,  nor  bave  the  least  taste  of  the  saints' 
eternal  rest.  I  may  say,  as  Ehud  to  Eglon,  I  have 
a  message  to  thee  from  Gorf,-*  that  as  the  wOrd  of 
God  is  true,  thou  shalt  never  see  the  face  of  God  with 
comfort.  This  sentence  I  am  commanded  to  pass 
upon  thee;  take  it  as  thou  wilt,  and  escape  it  if  thou 
canst.  1  know  thy  humble  and  hearty  subjection  to 
Christ  -would  procure  thy  escape ;  he  would  then 
acknowledge  thee  for  one  of  his  people,  and  give 
thee  a  portion  in  the  inheritance  of  his  chosen.  If 
this  might  be  the- happy  success  of"  my  message,  I 
should  be  so  far  from  repining, , like  Jonah,  that  the 
threateningSiof  God  are  not  executed  upon  thee,  that 
I  should  bless  the  day  that  ever  God  made  me  so 
happy  a  m,essenger.  But  if  thou  end  thy  days  in  thy 
unregenerate  state,  as  s^ure  as  the  heavens  are  over 
*  Judges  iii.  30. 

WHO    LOSE    THE    SAINTS*   REST.  79 

.  4 

thy  head,  and  the  earth  under  thy  feet,  thou  shalt  be 
shut  out  of  the  rest  of  the  saints,  and  receive  thy 
portion  in  everlasting  fire.  I  expect  thou  wilt  turn 
upon  me,  and  say,  When  did  God  show  you  the 
Book  of  Life,  or  tell  you  who  they  are  that  shall  be 
9aved,  and  who  shut  out?  I  answer,  I  do  npt  name 
thee,  nor  any  other  ;  I  only  cOflclude  it  of  the  unre- 
generate  in  general,  and  of  thee,  if-thou  be  such  a 
one.  Nor  do  I  go.  about  to  determine  who  shall 
fepenf,  and  who  shall  not;  much  less,  that  thoushaU 
never  repent.  I  Tiad  rather  show  thee  what  hopes 
thou  hast  before  thee,  if  thou  wilt  not  sit  still,  and 
lose  them.  I  would  far  rather  persuade  thee  to 
hearken  in  time,  before  the  door  be  shut  against  thee, 
than  tell  thee  the;re  is  no  hope  of  thy  repenting  and 
returning.  But  if  the  foregoing  description  of  the 
people  of  God  does  not  agree  with  the  state  of  thy 
goul,  is  it'then  a  hard  question,  whether  thou  sh"alt 
ever  be  saved  ?  Need  I  ascend  up  into  heaven  to 
know,  that  without  holiness  no  man  shall  see  the  Lord; 
or,  that  only  the  pure  in  heart  shall  see  God:  or,  that 
tiseept  a  man  he  horn  again,  he  cannot  'enter  into  the 
kingdom  of  God?  Need  I  go  up  to  heaven,  to  inquire 
that  of  Christ,  which  he  oarae  down  to  earth  to  tell 
us ;  and  sent  his  Spirit  in  his  apostles  to  tell  us ;  and 
which  he  anjj  they  have  left  upon  record  to  all' the 
world?  And.  thpugh  I  know  not  the  secrets  of  thy 
heart,  and  therieft)re  cannot  tell  thee  by  name,  whether 
it  be  thy  state,  or  hot ;  yet,  if  thou-  art  but  willing 
and  diligent,  thou  miayest  know  thyself,  whether  thou 
art  an  heir  of  heaven  or  not.  It  is  the  main  thing  I 
desiriei  that  if  thou  art  yet  miserable,  thou  mavest 
discern  and  escape  it.  But  how  canst  thou,  escape^  if 
tbm  neglefit  Christ  audsalvatiori  ?  It  is  as  imposjsible 
as  for  the  devils  themselves  to  be  saved :  nay,  God 

80  THE    GREA.T    MISERY    OF   THO^E 

has  inore  plainly  and. frequently  spoken  it  in  scripture 
of  such  sinners  as  thou  art,  than  he  has  of  the  devils. 
Methinks  a  sight  of  thy  case  would  strike  thee  witlji 
amazement  and  horror.  When  Belshazzar  «azd  the 
fingers  of  a  man's  hand  that  wrote  uppnthe  tvall,  Ms 
countenance  was  changed,  and  his  thoughh  troubled 
him,  so  that  the  Joints  of  his  loins  were  loosed,  and  hi* 
knees  smote  one  against  another:*  What  trembling 
then  should  seize  on  thee,  who  hast  the  hand  of  God 
himself  against  thee,  not  in  a  sentence  or  two-,  but  in 
the  very  scope  of  the  scriptures^  threatening  thq  loss 
of  an  everlasting, kingdotil !     Because  I  would  f^in 

have  thee  lay  it  to  heart,  I  will  show  thee the 

nature  of  thy   loss  of  heaven,— together  with  its 

^  3.  (1.)  In  their  loss  of  heaven,  the  ungodly  lose 
—•the  saints'  personal  perfection, — God  hi'mself,'^-'ali 
delightful  affections  towards  God, — and  the  blessed 
society  of  angels  and  saints. 

§3.  (l.)  The  glorious  personal  perfection  which 
the  saints  enjoy  in  heaven,'  is  the  great  loss  of  the 
tingodly.  They  lose  that  shining  lustre  of  the  body 
surpassing  the  brightness  of  the  sun  at  noonday. 
Though  the  bodies  of  the  wicked  will  be^raised 
more  spiritual  than  they  were  upph  earth,  yet  that 
will  only  make  them  capable  of  the  more  exquisite 
torments.'  They  would  be  glad  then,  if  every  member 
were  a  dead  member,  that  it  mi^ht  not  feel  the 
punishment  inflicted  on  it ;  and  if  the  whole  body 
were  a  rotten  carcase,  or  might  lie  down  again  in  the 
dust.  Much  more  do  they  want  that  moral  perfectioH , 
which  the  blessed  partake'of;  those  holy  dispositions 
of  mind ;  that  cheerful  readiness  to  do  the  will  of 
^od ;.  that  perfect  rectitude  of  all  their  actions : 
-  *  Dan.  V.  5,6. 

WHO    LOSE    THE  SAINTS*   REST.  31 

instead  of  these,  they  have  that  perVerseness  of  will, 
that  loathing  of  good;  that  love  to^vil,  that  violence 
of  passion,  which  they  had  on  earth.     'Tis  true,  their 
understandings  will  be  much  cleared  by  the  ceasing 
of  former  temptation,  and  experiencing  the  falsehood 
of  former  delusions;  but  they  have  the  same  dispo- 
sitions still,  and  fain  would  they  commit  the  same 
sins,  if  they  could:  they  want  but  opportunity.    There 
will  be  a  greater  difFerencie  between  these  wretches, 
and  the  glorified  Cbristians,  than  there  is  betwixt  a 
toad  and  the  sun  in  the  firmament.     The  rich  man's 
purple  and  fine  iirien,^  and  sumptuous  fare,  did  not  so 
exalt  him  above  Lazarus  while  at  his  gate  full  of  sores. 
§  4.  (3.)  They  shall  have  no  conifortable  relation 
to  God,  nor  communion  with  him.  '  As  they  did  not 
like  to  retairi  God  in  their  knowledge;  but  said  unto 
him.  Depart  from  us,fdr  we  desire  not  the  knowledge 
of  thy  waif s ;' so  God  will  abhor  to  retain  then!  in 
his  household.     He  will  neVer  admit  them  to  the 
inheritance  of  his  saints,  nor  endure  them  to  stand 
in  his  presence,'  biit  will  profess  unto  them,  I  never 
knew  you,  depart  frO^' me  ye  that  work  iniquity. 
They  are  ready  now  to  lay  as  confident  claim  to 
Christ  and  heaven,  as  if  they  were  sincere  believing- 
saints.     The  swearer,  the  drulikard,  the  whoremaster, 
the  worldling,  can  say.  Is  not  God  our  Father  as  well 
as  yours  ?     But  when  phrist  separates  his  followers 
from  his  foes,  and  his  faithful  friends  from  his  deceived 
flatterers,   where  then  will  -be  their   presumptijous 
claim  ?     Then  they  shall  fin'd,  that  God  is  not  their 
Fathvjr,  because  they;  would  not  be  his  people.     As 
they  would  not  consent  that  God  by  his  Spirit  should 
dwell  in  them,  so  the  tabernacle  of  wiQkedness  shall 
have  no  fellowship  with  him,  nor  the  wicked  inhabit 
the  city  of  God.    Only  they  that  walked  with  God 


82i  XSE   f^BSAT   BllSIiPJV   OJ   THftS»  , 

l^fre,  nhaM  live  and  bp  happy- wth  |jiia  in  heaven. 
Liukdoes  the  wcjfld  know  wbat;  a  less  that  soul  hatU 
who  lQ8«ft  God  !  What  a  dudgeon  would  the  eacth 
be,  if  it  had  lost  the  m^  !    What  ^  IpathsQHfte  carrioa 

^tbe  body,  if  it  had  lost  the  $om1  I  YqI;  all  these  are 
noiiiang  to.  the  los9  of  God.  As  the  ei^jteyment  of 
Ged  is  the  heaven;  of  the  s^imis,  m  thte  Joss  of  Godi  ia 
tbe  hpll  of  the  mjgodly;  and  as  the  enjcgraag  of 
God  W  tibe  enjoying  of  all,  sq  the  loss  of  Ggk3  is  the. 
less^cif  alL 

'  ^  $.K  (3.)  They  also  lose  all  delightful  affeetibas 
towaTids  Go,di  That  transp0«?t»ng  koowtedjge;  thosa 
d^jght^al  vjews.  of  his,  glorious  face;  tbe  incicia- 
ceivaible  pleasure  of  loJ?ing  biai ;  Ihe  apprebensJons 
of  bis  infinite  Love  to  us;  tbe  Qoastant  joys  of  his 
sai«(t8,,  and  the  rivers  of  consola^ioB  with  vehich  be 
stti^esi  them.— Is  it  nothing  tsp  lose,  all  this  ?  The 
ej&p^yioeflli  of  a,  king  in  ruling  a  feiijgdoia,  does  not 
s®(fer.  exceed  that  of  the  vjlesl  slaves  as'this "heavenly 
ewiiploynaent  exceeds,  that  of^an  earJibly  king.  God; 
s^jifts,  men's  employraents  to  their  natures.  Your 
heajt^  sjnuecs,  vi^ie  aev^r  sat  Mpoa  God  in  you» 
livesj.  aeivjep  wdrxoied  with,  bis  love,  never  longed  after 
the  eojoymentof  Wro;  youhadino^eHght  in  speaking 
on  hjeftsittg  of  him};  you  had  rather  have  contiaued  on 
m&b,  if  you  bad  knoiwiii  how,  than  to. be, interested  in ' 
the  glorious  praisest  of  God.  Is  it  meet  tk^ti,  that 
you  shouldi  be>members  oE  tba  celeatiaJi  choir  ? 

§^^6.  (4.)  Tiiey  shall  be  deprivled  of  th^  blessed, 
society  of  angels,  and  gloriied  saints.  Instead  of  being 
companiqns  of  those  happy  spirits,  and  numbered 
with  those  triumphant  kings,  they  must  be  members 
of  the  corporation,  of  hell,  where  they  shall  have 
companions  of  a  far  dififereint  nature  and  quality. 
Scotfling.  and  aibusimg  the  saints,  haxing  them,  apd 


reccing  in  thieir  oalaBbitie^y  ^as-  ndi  <tbe  vmy  to 
obtain  their  blessedness.    Now  yon  are  shut  o«l  ef 
that  iMa^ny^  from  wbiob  you  first  ishui  bUt  your- 
deW^s ;  aAd  are  separaleid  from  Vxfiaxi  wrtfa  whom  yoU 
would  not  be  joined^    You  could  not  endUre  them  ih 
your  itow^^i  n«r  tOwnsi  lior  scarce  in  the  kingdom. 
You  took  thent^  as  Abab  did  Eiijah,  M  th&  troM^i 
6f  ihk  land;  and,  a&  the, apostles  were  taken  %r  f^ 
that  turyied  iliM  imrMmpHie  domii    If  aiiy  thing  fbll 
out  amts^,  yoh  tho|iglhtall  was  owiwg  to  thfew.    When 
they  wbre  dead  ot  baiiisrljed^  you  Weref  l«d  they  wetfe 
j^one^  An4  thougiht  the  country  #dl  rid  of  thfem.  They 
'sAoteited  you  l*y  faithfully  reproving  yonr  sins.    Tbetr 
holy  QoAve^sation  troubled  yoar  conscieriee^v  *o  ^^ 
them  so  fett^kdel  you .  It  was  arexatioti  to  you,  to  heftf 
them  pray,  or  sing  pvaises  in  their  i^usftilie».    Ati<d  te 
it  any  wonder  if  yon  b6  separated  from  them  htve- 
aftei^?     The  day  is  near,  wheii  they  will  trouble  yo& 
no  nior^;    Be^bmt  them  tind  ym,  t^ill  be  a  great  gnif 
fixed.  .  Even  in  this  life,  while  th6  saints  w^re  v/edektiA, 
destitute^,  e^kt&dt  torMmledi  and  while  they  had 
their  jterSonail  imperfettJons  5  j^t,  iti' the  judgittfeflt 
©f  the  Holy  Ghdsty  they  wete  such  ofwimm  the  Uoot-td 
was  not  0ortk^.*     Much  ^  more  unworthy  wiiJ^th^ 
wofld  be  of  their  fellowship  in  glory.  ■•■' 

§  7.  (II.)  I  know  many  will  be  ready  to  tfetfife, 
they  coiild  spWe  th^ee  things  in  this  world  ^«tl 
etiodghj  and  why  may  they  not  be  without  theim  iil 
tihe  world  to  come  ?  The^efori^  to  jshow  them  that 
'  i^is  less  of  beafv^  will  then  be  ndost  tovfiniemin^vlgt 
thdnb  now  cohsjideir  ;-^the!r  understalftdjii!i^  #ill  bfe 
dleaii^d  to  know  l>hei<r  jpise^  ;^andr  have  more  evMvgSd 
apfirehehsioiM  eontemfir^  it  j'-^their  tbtfeciencea  wi'll 
oiake  a  closer  apiptioa^ioiir  df  it  to  themselves  ;'^theiT 
*  Heb.  Ai.  36um.- 



affections  will   no  longer   be^  stupified, — nor  their 
memories  be  treacherous. 

§8.  (1.)  The  understanding  of  the  ungodly  will 
then  be  cleared,  to  know  the  worth  of  that  which 
they. have  lost.     Now  they, lament  not  their  loss  of 
God,  because  they  never  knew  his  excellence ;  nor 
the  loss  of;  that  holy  empldyment  and  society,  for 
they  were  never  sensible  what  they- were  worth.     A 
.man  that  has,  lost  a  jewel,,  and   took  it  but  for  a 
common  stone,  is  never  troubled  at  his  ,loss;   but 
when   he  comes   to  know  what   he  lost,   then   he 
lamentsit.    Though  the  understanding  of  the  damned 
will  not  be  sanctified,  yet  they  will  be  cleared  from 
a  multitude  of  errors,     They  now  think  that  their 
honours,  estates,  pleasures,  health,  and  life,  are  better 
worth  their  labour,  than  the  things  of  another  world  ; 
but  when  these  things  have  left  them  in  misery,  when 
they  experience  the  things  which  before  they  did  but 
read  .and  hear  of,  they  will  be  of  another  mind.    They 
would  not  believe  that  water  would  drown,  till  they 
were  in  the  sea;  nor  the  fire  burn,  till  they  were  cast 
into  it :  but  when  they  feel,"  they  will  easily  believe. 
All  that  error  of  mind  which  made  them  set  light  by 
Crod,  and  abhor  his  worship,  and  vilify  his  people, 
will  then  be  confuted  and  removed  by  experience. 
Their  knowledge  shall  be  increased,  that  theit  sorrows 
may  be  increased.    Poor  souls !  they  would  be  com- 
paratively happy,  if  their  understandings  were  wholly 
taken  from  them,  if  they  had  no  more  knowledge*  than 
idiots,  or  brute  beasts ;  or  if  they  knew  no  more  in 
hell,  than  they  did  upon  earth,  their  loss  would  less 
trouble  them.     Ho^  happy,  would  they. then  think 
themselves,  if  they  did  not  know  there  is  such  a  place 
as  heaven  !   Now,  when  their  knowledge  would  help 
to  prevent  their  misery,  they  will  not  know,  or.  will 

WHO    LOSE    T-HE   SAINTS*   REST  85 

not  read  or  study  that  they  may  know;  therefore, 
\Vhen  their  knowledge  xvill  but  feed  their  consuming 
fire,  they  shall  know  whether  they  will  or  noi.  They 
are  now  in  a  dead  sleep,  and  dream  they  are  the 
happiest  men  in  the  worlds  but  when  death  awakes 
them,  how  will  their  judgments  be  changed  in  a 
moment!  and  they' that  would  jiot  see,  shall  then 
see,  and  be  ashamed.  ' 

^  9.  (2.)  As  their  understanding  will  be  cleared,  so 
it  will  be  more  enlarged,  and  made  more  capacious 
to  conceive  the  worth  of  that  glory  which  they  have 
lost.    The  strength  of,  their  apprehensions,  as  well  as 
the  truth  pf  them,  will  then  be  increased.     What 
deep  apprehensions  of  the  wrath  of  God,  the  madnes$ 
of  sinning,  the  misery  of  sinners,  have  those  souls 
that  now  endure  this  misery,  in  comparison  witb 
those  on  earth,  that  dobut  hear  of  itl  What  sensibility 
of  the  worth  of  life  has  the  condemned  man  that  is 
going  to  be  executed,  compared  with  what  he  was 
wont  to  have  in  the  time  of  his  prosperity !    Much 
more  will  the  actual  loss  of  eternal  blessedness  make  the 
damned  exceedingly  apprehensive  of  the  greatness  of 
their  loss;  and  as  a  large  vessel  will  hold  more  water 
than  a  shell,  so  will  their  more  enlarged  understandings 
contain  more  matter  to  feed  their  torment,  than  their 
s-hallow  capacity  can  now  do.  (  , -'i 

§  ;10.  (3.)  Their  consciences  also  will  make  a.  truer 
and  closer  application  of  this,  doctrine  to  themselves, 
which  will  ejcceedingly  tend  to  increase  their  torment. 
It;  will  then  be  no  hard  matter  to  them'  to  say,  "  This 
"  is  my  loss!  and  this  is  my  everlasting  remediless 
"  misery  !"  The.  want,  of  this  self-application  is  the 
main  cause  why  they  are  so  little  troubled  now. 
They  are  hardly  brought  to  believe  thatrthere  is.such 
a  state  of  misery;  but  more  hardly  to  beldeye  that  it 

86  THE    dREAT   HI6EKY   OF;  XBQ8E 

is  Hk^  t6  be  theit  own.  This  makes  so  maqy  sennt>ns 
lost  to  th^m,  and  all  thr^ate&ings  and  warnings  in 
vain.  Let  a  minister  of  Christ  show  theia  their 
misery  ever  so  plainly,  and  faithfully,  they  will  not  be 
petsuad^d  they  are  bo  imi^rab)ie<  .Let  him  tell  thesd 
of  th6  glory  they  must  l(iae(,  and  thg  sufferings^  tfa^y 
must  feel,  and  they!  think  he  mea^s  BO;t  them,  but 
some  notorious  sinners.  It  is  one  6f  th,e  hardest 
thiiigs  id  the  world,  to  bring  a  wicked  man  to  know 
that  he  is  wicked,  or  to  m^ke.him  see  himiself  in  a 
state  of  wrath  and  condeniDdtioik  Tholigfa  they  may 
easily  fiad  by  their  stca-ngefn^s  to  the  jiew-birth, 
and  their  enmity  to  holinei^,  thftt  they  ndver  wete 
partakers  of  them ;  yet  they"  as  verily  edcpect  to  ste 
Godi  and  be  savedy  as  if  they  were  the  most  sanctified 
persons  in  febe  world.  How  seldom  dd  men  cry  otft^ 
after  the  plainest  diSEOvery  of  their  state^  /  am  the 
man  !  or  acknowledge,  that  if  they  die  in  their  present 
oondition,  they  are  undone  for  ever !  But  ivhcn  they 
Suddenly  find  themselves  in  the  land  of  darkness, 
feel  themselves  in  scorching  flames,  and  i^e^  they  are 
shut  out  of  the  presence  of  God  for  ever ;  then  the 
application  of  God's  anger  to  thenlsetve&  wilt  ibe 
the  easiest  matter  in  the  world;  they  will  then  rotfr 
out  these  forced  confessions^  ^'  O  my  miseTy  !  O  my 
"  folly  !  -O  my  inconceiy'ablej  irrecoverable  loss!" 

^  11.  (4.)  Then  will  their  affectidns  likevl'ise  be" 
more  lively ,  andi  no  loragi^t  &1iu|rified.  A  hard  heart 
now  makes  heavent-  and.  bell  seem  but  trifles^  '  We 
have  showed'  them^  everlasting  glctry  and  misery,  and 
they  are  as  men  asleep ;  our  wdrds  iffe  as  stones  caSt 
against  a  Wall,  which  %  back  in  our, faces.  We  talk 
of  terrible  thangSy  biut  it  is  to  dead  men  ;_  we  search 
the  woiindciybiat  they  liiever  feigl  us;  we  speak  torotiks 
tatbes  than  to  men;  the  earth  vyill  as  soon  tremfek 

WHO    LQiE   THK   fiAIKTIs'  RE3T.  87 

aa  thay.  Hut  wbfin  these  dead  aoulsi  are  revived^ 
what  passionate  sensibUiby !  what  working  affections  I 
what  pangs  of  horBoc !  what  depth  of  sorrow  will  there 
then  be  i.  How  violBntty  will  they  fly  ia  theic  own 
faces!  How  wiiU  they  rage  against  their  formec 
madness !  The  licaeQrtatiiaDs  of  the  most  sffeclionate 
wife  for  the  loss  of  heir  husband,  or  of  the  tend^est 
mofchev  foip  the  loss  ctf  her.  childicejgj  will  be  nolhiHg  to 
theira  foe  the  kas  of.  heaven.  O  the  aelf-^accusing 
ayod  sJSlf-,tonaaenting,ftiry  of  tbose  ferlwn  creatwres  I 
How  will  they  even  teav  tl)^i«  own  hearts-^  ufid  be 
Godfs,  executioners  upon  tbetnsfilvesi !  As  themselves 
were,  the  «nily  meritorious  cause  of  their  sufferings,! 
so  thenasekes  wiH  be  the  ehjef  eKeqiitionfersi.  Even 
Satanv  as.  he  was  not  so  geeat  a  cause  of  their  sinning' 
asi  themselves;^  he  A^ill.  not  be  so  great  an  instrunjenfe 
o£  their  tormeat.  How  happy  would  they  thinte 
thenQsekesjthen,  if  Ithey  were  tuivned  iinto  rocks,  or 
any thangdhat  had  rieithei;  passioni  nofl  sense!  How 
li9J)|xy,  if  they  opiiW  tbeni  feel,  as  lightly  aa  tiheyi 
were:  w<ont!  to. hear  1  if  tlctey  couJd  sleep  out  the  tims)"* 
ol  eiseciiti^V  '^^  they'djid  the)tirae  of  tbe  sermons 
that  wacn«d  them  ©f  it  I  Bttt  their  s&Htpidity  is  goaet ; 
it'  wiiU  not  hoi 

^12;  (5.)  Their  rrlem©»^e$.  ivfilj  moreover  be  as 
lacge  and  stt&»§  a^  their  utiiders/t^isg  a«d[affeGti(M]&. 
Could  they*  bat  lose  the  use.  of  their  ntemory,,  theijr 
losa  of  heaweiai  being  foigot»wowld  little  tcoubie  them;. 
"^Itougih  thejawoaM  account  anDifciflatJon  3  singSatetf' 
naeccy,  they  camraot  lay  aside  any  part  of  their  b^iilgii 
Uaderatanding,  coBsciencevaffectiftas,  memoty;,  must 
sdUIave  to,  torment  theniii  which- sh©wld  have  helped 
to,  their  haippiness.  As  by  these  ^y  should  bay«r 
fed  upon  thelovj^  of  God,  and.  drawn  foEtb  peupe- 
timldy  the  joyK  of  his.  iptesflireei.  ao.  byr  th/owiaotts*' 

88  THE    GREAT    MISERY    OF    THOSE 

they  feed  upon  his  wrath,  and  draw  forth  continu- 
ally the  pains  of  his  absence.     Now  they  have  no 
leisure  to  consider,  nor  any  room  in  their  niemdries 
ifor  the  things  of  another  life;  but  then  they  shall 
have  nothing.else  to  do;  their  memories  shall  have 
no  other  employment.     God  would  have  had  the 
doctrine  of  their  eternal  state  written  on  tfie posts  of 
their  doors,  on  their  hands  and  hearts :  he  would  have 
had  them  mind  it,  and  mentiori  it  when  they  lay  dmcn 
dnd  rose  up,  when  they  sat  in  their  house,  and  when 
they  walked hy  the  ■Wq.y;  and  seeing  they  rejected  this 
counsel  of  the  Lord,  'therefore  it  shall  be  written 
always  before  them  in  the  place  of  their  thraldom, 
that  which 'W^y  soever  they  look,  they  may  still  be- 
hpld  it.     It  will  torment  them  to  think  of  the  great- 
ness of  the  glorjr  they  have  lost.     If  it  had  been  what 
they  could  have  spared,  or  a  loss  to  bis  repaired  with 
any  thing  else,  it  had  been  a  smaller  matter.     If  it 
had  been  health,  or  wealth,  or  friends,  ot  life,  it  had 
been  nothing.   But,  O  !  to  lose  that  exceeding  eternal 
tbeight  of  glory  /-—It  \vill  also  torment  them  tO'  think 
of  the  possibility  they  once  had  of  obtaining  it.  Then 
they  will  remember,"  Time  was,  when  Iwas  as  fair 
for  the  kingdom  as  others.     I  was  set  upon  the  stage 
of  the  World ;  if  I  had  played  my  part  wisely  and 
faithfully,  I  might  now  have  had  possession  of- the 
inheritance.  I  might  have  been  among  yonder  blessed 
saints,  who  am  now  tormented  with  these  damned 
fiends.     The  Lord  did  ^eth^ore  me  l^e  and  death; 
and  having  choSe  death,  I  deserve  to  suffer  it.     The 
pinze  was  held  out  before  me;   if  I  had  run  well, 
I  might  have  obtained  it ;  if  I  had  striven^  I  might 
have  had  the  victory;  if  I  had  Jbught  valiantly,  I  had 
been  crowned.''^ — It  vs^ili  yet  more  torment  them  to 
reipember^  that  their  obtaining  the  crown  was  not 

lirttO  LOSfE   TKE   Mxtttti'*  RESt.  ^ 

©»ty  possible^  but  viBiiy  ^rdbatfJe.  It  will  wound 
theffi  to  think,  •'  I  had'otre©  the  giale*  of  the-  Spirit 
ready  to  have  assi*fed'  me.  I  was  pttoposiflg  to  be 
awother  itaan,  t&  h»ve  dteaved  to-  Christ,  and  forsook 
the  world.  I  was  almost  resolVed  to  hare  been 
wholly  for  -God.  1  was  oflce  even  turning  from  my 
basef  seducing  lulus'.  I  had  cast  ofF  my  old  com- 
panJdHs,  and  #as  associnting  with  the  godly.  Yet 
1  Uttfttedi  bfeck-,  Ittst  Biy  hold,  and  broke  my  promised. 
1  was  almost  pet^suaded  td  he  a  real  Christianj  yet 
\  con-qutered  thoSe  persuasibrts.  What  workings 
\Mere.  i^n  my  heart,  when  a  faithful'  minister  pressed 
bomte  the  trutft'!'  O  how^  fair  <i^as  I  oiice  f6r  heaven  ! 
i  aimost  had  it^  and  yet  I  have  lost  it.  Hadl^t 
fettffeef  <in'  to  seek  the  Lord,  I  had'  now  been  blesSed' 
amota^  ,th€  saitft^." 

4'13"  I*  Wiil'  exceedingly  torment  them  to  re- 
aasembeV  their  lias*  opportunities.  "  How  many  weebs^, 
and:  iei9»th»,  and  years,  did  I  lose,  which  if  I  had 
iuifftoVed,  r  mig^htf  ncfw'  have  been  happy  J'  Wretch 
that  I  was!  cottW  I'  find  no  time  to  stiidy  the  work, 
fop  whiieh  I  had'  all  my  time !  no  time  ambng  all' 
my*  kbouFSi  to  labour'  for  eternity!  Had  I  time  to' 
eae,  and  drink,  and  slteepj  and  none  to  save  my  soul?' 
H)ad  I  tim^  fov  mirth- and  vain  discoursei  and  none- 
fiwf'  pwiyer'?  Cou4d  F  t^ke  time  to-  secure  the  world, 
audi  none  tb  try  my  title  to  heaven  ?  O  precibuS  time ! 
I-  had  once  endttgh',  aitd  now  I  must  have  no  more. 
I  had  once  so  much;!  knew  not  what  to,  do 'with  it;' 
aad'  now  it  is  gone,  and  cannot  be  recalled.  O  that 
I  had  but  oneof  those  years  to  live  over  again!  How' 
^eedily  would r  repent!  How  earnestly  would  I 
'pray  I  How  "diligently  would' T hear!  How  closely 
would  I  examine  my  state!  How  strictly  would' 
I  live!  but  it  is  now  too- Ikte,  alas!' too  late.*' 


90  THE    GREAT    MISEEY   OF   XHOgE 

'  §  14.  ■■  It  will  add  to  their  calamity  toremembei' 
how  often  they  were  persuaded  to  return.  ,  V  Fai"* 
would  the  minister  have  had  me  escape-  these  tor- 
ments. With  what  love  and  compassion  did  be 
beseecji  me!  and  yet  I  did  but  make  a  jest  of  it. 
How  oft  did'he  convince  me!  and  yet  I  stifled  dl 
these  convictions.  How  did  he  open  to  me  my  very 
heart!  and  yet  I  was  loath  to  know  the  worst  of 
myself.  O  how  glad  would  he  have  been,  if  he  could 
have  ,seen  me  cordially  turn  to  Christ !  My  godly 
friends  admonished  me  :  they  told  me  what  would 
become  of  my  wilfulness  and  negligence  at  last;  but 
I  neither  believed,  nor  regarded  them.  How  long 
did  God  himself  condescend  to  intreat  me !  How 
did  the  Spirit  strive  with  my  heart,  as,  if  he  was 
loath  to  take  a  denial !  How  did  Christ  stand  knock- 
ing, one  Sabbath  after  another,  and  crying  to  me. 
Open,  sinner,  open  thy  heart  to  thy  Savmir,  and 
I  will  come  in,  and  sup  with  thee,  and  thou  with  me  ! 
Why  dost  thou  delay  ?  How  long  shall  thy  vain 
thmghts  lodge  within  thee  ?  Wilt  thou  not  be  jpar- 
doned,  and  sanctified^  and  made  happy  ?  When  shall 
it  once  he?''  O  how  the  recollection  of  such  divine 
pleadings  will  passionately  transport  the  damned  with 
self-indignation!  "  Must  I  tire  out  the  patience  of 
Christ?  Must  I  make  the  God  of  heaven  follow  me 
in  vain,  till  I  had  wearied  him  with  crying  to  me. 
Repent !  return  !  O  how  justly  is  that  patience  now 
turned  into  fury,,  which  falls  upon  me  with  irresis- 
tible violence !  When  the  Lord  cried  to  me.  Wilt 
thou  not  he  made  clean  ?  When  shall  it  once  he  9  my 
heart,  or  at  least  my  practice,  answered.  Never.  And 
now  when  I  cry,  How  long  shall  it  be  till  I  am 
freed  from  this  torment?  How  justly  do, I  receive  the 
same  answer.  Never,  never." 

WHO    LOSE   THE    SAINTS*   REST.  91 

§  15.     It  will  also  be  most  catting  to  remember 
on  what  easy  terms  they  might  have  escaped  their 
misery.     This  work  was  not  to  remove  mountains, 
nor   conquer  kingdoms,   nor  fulfil  the  law  to  the 
smallest  tittle,  nbr  satisfy  justice  for  all  their  trans- 
gressions.    The  foke  was  easy,  and  the  burden  light. 
which  Christ  would  have  laid  upon  them.     It  was 
but. to  repent,  and  cordially  accept  him  for  their 
^Saviour;  to  renounce  all  other  happiness,  and  take 
the  Lord  for  their  supreme  good;  to  renounce  the 
world  and  the  fle'sh,  and  submit  to  his  meek  and 
gracious  government;  and   to  forsake  the  ways  of 
their  pwn  devising,  and  walk  in  his  holy  delightful 
way.     "  Ah,"  thinks   the    poor  tormented  wretch, 
"how  justly  do  I  suffer  all  this,  who  would  not  be 
at  so  small  pains  to  avoid  it !    Where  was, my  Under- 
standing, when  I  neglected  that  gracious  offer;  when 
I  called  the  Lord  a  hard  mastery  znA  thought  his 
pleasant  seryice   a  bondage,  arid  the  service  of  the 
devil  .and  the  flesir  the  only  freedom  ?     Was  I  not 
a  thousand  times  worse  than  mad,  when  I  censured 
the  holy  way  of  God  as  needless  preciseness;  when 
I  thought  the  laws  of  Christ  too  strict,  and  all  too 
much  that  I  did  for  the  life  to  come?  What  would 
all  sufferings  for  Christ,  and  well-doing  have  been, 
compared  with  these  sufferings  that  I  must  undergo 
for  ever.     Would  not  the  heaven,  which  1  have  lost, 
have  recompensed  all  my  loisses  ?  And  should  not 
all  my  sufferings'  have  been  there  forgotten  ?  What 
if   Christ  had    bid  me    to  do  some   great  matter ; 
whether  to  live  in  continual  fears  and  sorrows,  or  to 
suffer  death  a   hundred  times  over :  should  I   not 
have  done  it?  How  much  more,  when  he  onlv^said. 
Believe  and    be  saved.     Seek  my  face^  and  thy  smtl 
shall  live.     Take  up  thy  cross,  and  follow  me,  and 

/  mU  give  thee '  everlasting  life, '  O  grsicjiotip  iptfer ! 
■O  easy  terms !  O  cursed  yfXfUida,  that  wouid  not  be 
.persuaded  to  accept  them  !"   - 

4  16.  This  also  will  be  a  most  tormeoting  copsi- 
4eraitaon,  to  remember  what  they  sold  their  eteraal 
welfare  for.  When  they  eompafp^the  val.we  ,of  the 
pleasures  of  sin,  .with  the  value  oi  the  recompense  of 
reward,  how  will  the  vast  disjjrdpoirtiofl  astouisfr 
them!  To  think  of  the  low  delights,  of  the  flesh,  or 
the  applauding  breath  <^  snoFtals,  or  the  possessing 
li«aps  of  gdd,  and  then  to  think  of  everlasting  Iglory. 
"  This  is  all  I  had  for  my  «oul,  my  God,  my  hopes 
of  blessedness!"  It  cannot  possibly  be  expressed 
]m)w  these  thoughits  will  teas:- hi«  very  heart.  Then 
will  he  exclaim  against  his  folly.  "  O  jaiserable 
wretch!  Did  J  set  my  soul  to  sale  for  so  base  a 
price  ?  Did  I  part  with  my  God  for  a  little  dirt 
and  dross ;  and  sell  «iy  Saviour,  as  Jud^»  for  a 
little  eily«r  ?  I  had  but  a  dreram  of  delight,  for  my 
hope's  of  heaven ;  and  now  I  am  awaked,  it  is  all 
vanished.  My  morseis  are  now  turned  to  gaU,  and 
jny  cups  to  wormwood.  When  they  were  past  my 
taste,  the  pleasure  perished.  And  is  this  all  that 
J  h*ve  had  for  the  inestimablei  treasure  ?  What  a 
mad  exchange  did  I  make!  What  if  I  had  gained 
all  the  world,  and  lost  my  soul?  But,  alas!  how 
small  a  part  of  the  .world  was  it  for  which  I  gave 
up  my  part  in  glory!  O  that  sinners  would  think 
of  this,  when  they  are  swimi&iog  in  the  delights  of 
the  flesh,  and  studying  how  to  be  rich  and  honour.* 
able  in  the  world  !  When  they  are  desperately  ven- 
turing upon  known  transgression,  and  sinning  against 
the  checks  of  conscience! 

^  17.    It  will  add  yet  more  to  their  torment,  when 
they  consider  that  they  most  wilfully  procured  their 


own  destruction.     Had  thfcy  been  fonied  to  bib,  it 
would  raucb  abate  the  rage  of  their  ooasciences ;  oc 
if  they  were  puntftbed  for  aoother  man's  transgred- 
sions;  or  any  other  had   been  the   chief  author  of 
their  ruin.     But  to  think  it  was  the  cbdioe  of  theiT 
own  will,  and  that   none  in  the  world  could  have 
forced  them  to  sin  against  their  wills ,'  this  will  be 
a  outtifig  thought.    "  Had  I  not  enemies  ehoup:b  ilt» 
the  world,  (thinks   this   miserable  creature,)    but  I 
must  be  an  enemy,  to  myself?     God  would  never 
give  the  devil,  nor  the  world,  so  much  power  over 
me,  as  to  force  me  to  commit  the  least  trcinfiigres- 
sion.     They    could  but  entice;  it    was  myself  that 
yielded,  and  did  the  evil.    And  must   I  lay  hands 
upon  my  own  soul ;  and  embrue  my  hands  in  my 
own-  blood  ?     Never   had  I  so  great  an   enemy   as 
myselfi     Never  did  God  offer  any  good  to  my  soul, 
but  I  resisted  him.     He,  hath  heaped  mercy  upon 
me,  and  KQewed  one  deliverance  after  another^  to 
draw  my  beart  to  him;  yea,  he  hath  gently  chas-* 
tised  me,   and  made  me  groan  under  the  fruit  of 
my  disobedience ;  and  though  I   promised  largely 
in  my  affliction,  yet   never  was  I  heartily  willing 
to   serve   him."    Thus  will  it  gnaw  the   hearts  of 
these  sinners,    to    remember    that    they  were  the 
cause  of  their  own  uDdoing;  and  that  they  wilfully 
and  obstinately  persisted  in  their  rebellion,  and  were 
mere  volunteers  .in  the  service  of  the  devil. 

§  18.  The  wound  in  their  consciences  will  be  yet 
deeper,  when  they  shall  not  only  remember  it  was 
their  own  doing,  but  that  they  were  at  so  much  cost 
and  pains  for  their  own  damnation.  What  great 
undertakings  did  they  engage  in  to  effect  their  ruin  ; 
to  resist  the  Spirit  of  God ;  to  overcome  the  power  of 

94  THE   GREAT    MISERY   OF   THOSE    , 

mercies,  judgments,  and  even  the  word  of  God  ;  to 
Subdue  the  power  of  reason,  and  silence  conscience. 
All  this   they  undertook  and  perforqaed.  •  Though 
they  walked  in  continual  danger  of  the  wrath  of  God, 
,  and  knew  he  could  lay  them  in  the  dust^'  atid  cast 
them  into 'hell  in  a  moment;  yet  Jwbuld  they:  run 
upon  all  this.     O  the  labour  it  costs  sinners  to  be 
damned  !    Sobriety,  with  health  and  ease,  they  might 
have. had  at  a  cheaper  rate;  yet. they  will  rather  have 
gluttony  and  drunkenness,  with  poverty,  shame,  and 
sickness.     Contentment  they  might  have,  with  ease 
and  delight ;  yet  they  will  rather  have,  covetousness 
and  ambition,  though  it  costs  them  cares  and  fears, 
labour  of  boxiy,  and  distraction  of  mind.  ■  .Though 
their  anger  be  self-torment,  and  revenge  and  envy 
consume  their  spirits ;-  though   uncleanness  destroy 
their  bodies,  estates,  and  good  names ;  yet  will  they 
do  and  suffer  all  this,  rather  than  suffer  their  souls  to 
be  saved..:*  With' what  rage  will  they  lament  their' 
folly,  and  say,  "  Was  damiratioti  worth  all  my  cost 
and  pains?;  Might  I  not  have  been  damned  on  free 
cost,  but  I  must  purchase  it  so  dearly !    I  thought 
I  could  have  been  saved  without  so  much  ado,  and 
could  I  not  have  been  destroyed  without  so  much 
^do  ?    Must  1  so  laboi'iously  work  out  my  Own  dam- 
nation, when  God  commanded  me  Xo  worli  out .  my 
salvation?   ,If  I  had  done  as  much  for  heaven,  as  I 
did  for  hell,  I  had  surely  had  it.     I  cried  out  of  the 
tedious  way  of  godliness,  and  the  painful  course  of 
self-denial ;  and  yet  I  could  be  at  a  great  deal  more 
pains  for  Satan  and  for  death.     Had  I  loVed  Christ 
as  strongly  as  I  did  my  pleasures,  and  profits,  and 
honours,  and  thought  on  him  as  often,  and  sought  him 
as  painfully,  Q  how  happy  had  I  now  been  I    But  • 
justly, do  I  suffer  the  flames  "of  hell,  for  buying  tliem 

WHO    LOSE   THE    rAINTS'   REST.  95 

SO  dear,  rather  th^n  have  heaven,  when  it  was  pur- 
chased to  my  hands  !"  AiV 
§  19.  Q  that  God  would  persuade  thee,  Reader, 
to  take  up  these  thoughts  now,  for  preventing  the 
inconceivable  calamity  of  taking  theiri  up  in  hell  as 
thy  own,  torwaentor!  Say  not  that  they  are  only 
imaginary,  i^ead  what  Dives  thought,  feeiwg^  in /or- 
mmts.  *  As  the  joys  of  heaven  are  chiefly  enjoyed 
by  the  rational  soul  in  its  rational  actings,  so  must 
the  pains  of  hell  be  suffered.  As  they  will  be  men 
still,  so  ;Wi,U  they  fed  and  act  as  men. 

CHAP.   VI. 

The  Misery  qf  those,  who,  besides  loHng  the  Saints" 
Rest,  lose  the  $injoyments  qf  Time,  and  suffer  the 
Torments  of  Hell. 

%  1.  The  connexion  of  this  with  the  preceding  chapter.     §2.  (1.) 
The  enjoyments  of  time  which  the  damned  lose :  §  3.  (1.)  Their 
presumptuous  belief  of  their  interest  in  God  and  Christ:  §  4. 
(2.)  All  their  hopes:  §  5.    (3.)  All  their  peace  of  conscience: 
§6.   (4.)    All  their  carnal  mirth:   §  ?•    (5.)    All  tlieir  sensual, 
delights.   §  «.  (11.)  The  torments  of  the  damned  are  exceeding 
,  great :    §  Q.  (1.)  The  priheipsil  Author  of  them  is  God  himself: 
§  10.  (2.)    The  placp  or  stateof  torment :    §  11.  (3.)  These  tor- 
ments are  the  effects  of  diyine  vengeance :  §  '12<  (4,)  God  will 
take  pleasure  ia  executing  them:  §  13.  ($.)  Satan  and  sinnerS; 
themselves  will  be  God's  executioners:  §14.  (6.)  These  tornaents^ 
will  be  universal:  §  15.  (7.)   Without  any  mitigation  :  §  l6.  (8.) 
and  eternal.    .§17.  The  obstinate  sinner  convinced  of  his  folly 
in  venturing  on  these  toroaents:  §  IS.  and  .entreated  to  fiy  for 

I   lafety  to  Christ. 

•§1.    As  godliness  hath  a  promise  of  the  life  that 
now  is,  and  of  that  which  is  to  come ;  and"  if  we  seek 
*  Lifke  xvi. 


first  th^  kingdom  of  God  and  hi»  nghieswmless',  then 
nil  meaner  things  shall  be  added  imto  lis :  so  iafeo  are 
the  ungodly  threatened  with  the  loss  both  of  sj^pitual 
and  temporal  blie^i-ngs;  a«d  because  tbey  sought 
not  for  God's  fcingdom  and  righteousness,  therefore 
shall  they  tosei  both-  it  and  that  which  IJhey  did  seek,' 
and'  there  shalt'he  taken  from^  them  that  little  which 
they  have.,  If  they  o®tiW'  but  havBi  kept  thekr  preserir 
eajoyments,.  they  would^  not  havemtfch'  cared  for  th^' 
loss,  of  heaven.  If  they  had  lost  and  forsaken  ail  far 
Christ,  they  woiuld' -have- ibuTjd  all-  again'  in  htm; 
for  he  would  have  been  all  in  all  to  them^  But  now 
they  have  forsook  Christ  fox  other  things,  they  shall 
lose  Christ,  and  that  also  for  which  they  forsook  him; 
even — the  enjoyments,  of  time' — besides  sufiFering  the 
torments  of  hell.  ' 

§'2.  (f.)  Among  the  enjoyments  of  time,  they 
shall  particuliarly  lose — their  presjjmptuous  belief  of 
their  interest  in  the  favour  of  God',  arfd  the  merits 
af  Cbxist ;: — all  their  hopes  ;■ — all  their  false  peace  of 
^OJE^^ieBce.;■ — all  their  casnal;  miirth^^— and'  all  their 
sensual  delights;      '     ,. 

§-8i  (I.)  TheyshaUJbse  their  presumptuous. belief 
of  their  interest  in  the  favour  of  God,;  and  the  mervits 
of  Christ,  This.false. belief  uQiw<  supports  thenr  spipits, 
and  defends  them  from  the  terrors  that  would' other- 
wise seize,' upon  tfaem^  But  what  will'  ease  their 
trouble,  when  they  can  believe  nojbnger,  nor  rejpi'ce 
any  longer?.  If  a  man  be  near  to  the  greatest  raiacbief, 
and: yet  strong] js  conceit:  thai;  he  is  in  safety,  he  may  cheerful  as  if  all' were  well.  If  there  were  no 
more  to  make  a  man  happy,  but  to  believe-that  He 
is.  so,  or,  shall  be  so,  happiness  would  be  far  more 
common  than  it  is  like  to  be.  As  true  faith  is  ^e*. 
leading  grace  in  the  regenerate,  so  is  false  faith  the 

;      WHO   L^frE^Pi   gA^UI^  Rl^f,  >  Q? 

Jl^aidmg  vice  iji  the  «nrf^generate,  Why  do  s^iqh 
IRuUitmJe?  «it  StiH*  wh§n  they  might  have  pardon, 
^Sjt  that  thjcy  >vQ|Fily.thii@k  they  are  pardoned  alfe^fly  > 
If  y«iu  ^j^y  99k  tJfi^itpt^Qdq  i(i  hej),  vrhat  madness 

l;^pu^t  thew  thitheg  ?   thty  wo^ld  most  ,of  th?H» 

«l»pvyer»  "  Wfrna^  sprg  gf  b§ing  saved,  till  liwe  foun^ 
9^ur?f I«r«s  ^%mi§ii  Wfi  wpy  1^  hav^  b(@en  o^ore  earpeat 
;3eel$;@r9  Qf  Ae^^gprAl^lon,  a^d  th^  power  of  godlio^, 
twt'iwe  vefi^iy  ihiOMg^i^  we  were  Christi^n^  hefoiri^- 
We  k^ivi^  ^%\^rq4.  ours$l'V^?  into  these  torment^,  and 
ppw  tlv?re  js  qp  reioQ^y."  ftead/er,  I  must  iij  faHJ^- 
|[y b?$99  teJI  thee,  tbgt  th*  cqnfideqt  jj^J^ef  of  th^ir  gpod 
§k9Afi,  which  ths  G3rpl/epsj  wpholy,  unljymjjied  ipulti- 

A»^9  90  mmmavi\y  b<!>85Jt  of,  wjil  prove  jp  t|ie  ep4 

iittt  9  9pj^ jndWDSiPg i^^lmm-  _ There  is  nppe  of  thip 
jjl^pving  ip  hplJ,      It  vy^a  Satjip's  stratagem,  thajt 

Mm  Mm4^ft\d  tl«^  gjjgh?  follow  4iipi  ti^e  pof^ 
Willy  ;)h#t  *lign  be  wiB  HPPfjygF  th^ir  eyes,  an^ 

4  4.  :(2,V  Tfeey  fhftHr Joge  pljip  all  their  hpRC^j  JiQ 
liiiiJjfiBiltfeoMgb;|fe^y((W)efe  fth'pa^^ped  with  the  syr?ith 
©f  iGpd,  y/^  ihsJF  hg§6  ^  escaping  it  bore  pp  th^yr 
ItfattR;  M§  am  :nQW  ,si^^rpe  ^p)e4  with  f^ie  vilesf 
j^vnitird,  flr  s.W8a?fr,.pr  sPP^fir,  but  h^  hopes  to  be 
mv^d  for.aU  *h^-  r!(0  h^BPy  J^orl^j  K  s?lW0P  werp 
^iWPflfiep  fls  this  h§aa?  I  ¥fly.vPP  »tppng  are  rpep'^ 
ihop«8,  tb«  they  will  .^fBHie  JhP  cause  with  Chrjs^ 
iumselfiit  jpdgBi^ti  ^f^P^4^^}t^^i"^^  f0  9V^ 
^avie  in  Jm  pKeseiff^,  mfl  jprw^^^'^  ¥  k^  mmis, 
anddn  Ai^namemftip^  (^mk>  t^PY  will  stiffly  de^ 
^at  tboy  n«gi^f«4  !Ghr4?t  ,ip  hunger,  rfahednefs^ 
pxiin,j9iri¥0»,  Iijl)h§_fi9fff»t?l?  theip  with  the  septepcL^ 
.©f  their  condepjPMte&pf  Q  ^P  ^^'^  §?*<»:<^  thpsp^ajiep^ 
-.wbep  Jihey  mu8t,t»«l  ,far§wfilJ  .tp.^ll  their  hopep! 
When  a  wi##^iW^a<^A»7<w  ^^^(l^jfi^»/Aa/;jBemA; 

9S  THE    GREAT  i'MlS^Rlr    OF 'THOSE 

and  tkehope  of  unjust  men  perisheth.*  The  eyes  of 
the  wicked  shall  failf  afid  they  shall  not  escape,  and 
their 'hope  shall  he  as  the  giving  up  of  the  ghost. ^ 
The  "giving  up  (he  ghost,  is  a  fit,'  but  terrible 'resem- 
blan-ce  of  a  wicked  man  giving 'up*  his  hopes.  As 
the  soul  departetb  not  frOoi  the  boidy  without  th-e 
greatest  pain ;  so  doth  the  hope  of  the'wicked  depart. 
Thesbul  depart^  frbin  the  body  suddenly,  in  aWomeiif, 
which  hath  there  delightfully  continued  sO  many 
years ;  just  so  doth  the  hope  of  the  wicked  depart. 
The' soul  will  never  more  return  to  live  with'thfe 
tbdy  in  this  world ;  and  the 'hope  of  the  wicked 
takes  an  everlasting  farewell  of  his  soul.  Amiracle 
•of  resurrection  shall  again  unite  soul  and  body,  but 
there  shall  be  no  such  miraciilotis.  resurrection  of  the 
daiiined's  hope.  ^  Methitiks,  it-  is  the  most  pitiable 
sight  this'  wodd  affords,  to  see  such  an  ungodly  person 
dying,  and  to  think  of  bis  soul' and  his  hopes  depaftiug 
together.  With  what  a  sad  change  he  appears  in 
another  world !  Thfen  if  a  man  could  btit' ask  that 
hopeless  sbiil !  "  Are  you  ias  confident  of  salvation  as 
you  Were  wbnt  to  be?"  What  a  sad  answer  would 
be' returned!  O  that  careless  sinners  ■  would  be 
awakened  to'  think  of  this  in  time!  vReadfer,  rest 
not  till  thou  canst  give  a  *iasbn  of  all  thy  hopes 
grotinded  upon  Scripture  promises;  that  they  purify 
thy  he'drt ;  that  they  ijuickfen  thy  endea^puri^  in 
godliness;  that  th6  more  ithou  hopest 'the.less  thou 
siiinest,  and  the  more  exact  is  thy  obedience.^  If  thy 
hbp^s  be  such  aS  these,  go  on  in  the  strength  of  the 
Lord,  hold  fast'  thy  hope^  and  never  shallit  ma^e  tkbe 
ashamed.  But  if  thou  hast  liot  one  sound  evidence 
of  a' work  of  grace  on  thy  soul,  cast  avvaytby  hopes. 
Despair  of  evei^  being  saved,  except  thou  be  horH  again'; 
*  Prov.  xi..7.'  '-f  Jobv'xi.  20. 

WHO    IDSE   THE   SAINXs'   REST.  99 

or  of  seeing  Goi,  without  holiness ;  or  of  bavipg  p^rt 
in  Christy  except  thou  love  him  above /ather,  vwthfXi 
or  thy  own  life.  -.  This  kind  of  despair  is  qqe  of-  the 
first  steps  to  heavien.     If  a  man  jbie.  quitq;  out.  of 
his  way,  what  must  be  the  first  me^ns  to.briRg.him 
m  again?    He  must  despair,  of  ever  comipg  ;tp  .bis 
journey's  end  in  the  way  that  he  is  in*.    If  bis  bpme 
be  eastward,  and' -he  is  going  westward,  as,  Ipng  as  he 
hopes  \be  is  rightj-  be  will  go  on ;  apd,  as  long  as 
he  goes  on  hopijog,  "be  goes  farther  amiss.     When  he 
despaifs  of  coming  home,  except  he  turn  back,  then 
he  will  return,  and  then  he  may. hope.     Ju?t  so  it  isj 
sinner,  withthy  soul:  thou  art  born  out  of  the  w:ay 
to,  heaveii,  and  bast  ptoceeded  many  .a  year;   thou 
foest  on,  and  hppest  to  be  saved,  because  thou  art 
not  so  bad  as  many  others.     Except  't\\o\x  thrpw.egt 
away  those. hopes,  and' see  that  thpu  hast  all  this 
while  beea  .quite  out  of  the  way  to  heaven,  thpuwill: 
never  return;  and  be  saved.    There  is  nothing  in  the 
world  more  likely  to  keep  thy  soul  out  of  heaven, 
than  :thy  false  hopes  of  being  saved,  vyhile  thou  art 
out  of  the: Way.  to  salvation. ,  See  then  bow  it  wili 
aggravate  the  misery  of,  the  damned^  that,  with  the 
lp?s  of  heaven,  they  .shall  lose  all  that  hope  of  it 
which  now  supports  them. 

.§5.  (3.)  They  will  lose  all  that  false  peace  of' 
cpnscience,  which  makes  their  present  life  so  dasy. 
Who  would  tbinkv  that  sees  hpw  quietly  the  multi- 
tude pf  the  ungodly  live,  thjat  they  must  very  shortly 
Jje  down  in  everlasting  flames  ?  They  are  as  free 
from  t;be  fears  of  hel)  ag  .an  obedient  jbeljever ;  and 
for  the  mo$t  part,  have  less  disquiet  of  mind  than 
those  who -shall  be  saved.  ,•  Happy  nien,  if  this  peace 
would  prove  lasting !  VTh^n  they  shall  say  Peace 
and  safety ;  then  sudden  destrudtioncomethupQn  them, 

I@0  3!3ie   G^fiAT    MISERY  OF   TSOSE 

bi  trMUil  up&n  a  WBman  ivUh-tkUd i  uhd  th&g  shaH 
(tdt  esectpv.^  O  cruel  peace,  which  ends  ita  such  a 
Wlar !  The  soul^^of  eviery  man  by  natute  i»  Satan'* 
garH^bn;  ali.i^  at  peace  in  sucb  a  litaii  till  Christ 
ettthSJgj  &hd  givel  it  tierrible  alairibs  of  judgnieBiJ  aad 
herll,  bSittet^  it  with  the  ordniance  of  his  thteats 
atid  terridr^i  forces  it  to  yield  to  his  mefe  mercy,  »n«l 
%6;lce  him  for  the  goyel-tidt ;'  then  doth  he  cast  out 
Satatij  ovfercmit  Mih,  tuM  frrm  hhk  all  his  armoiff 
tiiheY-iein  he  i^hjtsted,  fmd  divideth  ^is^oils,f  and  theft 
doth  big  ^tabiish  z  firm  3nd  tasting  peace.  If  tfa«re« 
(brb  tho\i  art  y^t  in  that  l^r^t  peao^,  Oev^  think  it 
Wilt  endure.  C^ii  thy  aoul  have  lusting  pe&GBi  in 
lehtnity:  with'  Christ  ?  CM  hfr  have  pea©6  &g«inst 
MidXn  Gbd  jp^oblaitSid  waf  ?  I  wish  thee  no  greats* 
gbod,  than  that  God  break  iu  Xi'pm  thy  careless  he^t^ 
iand  shake  theig  bUt  bf  thy^lie  j^eatie^  sUid  make  three 
lie  dbwn  at  the  feet  bf  ChHsii^  fetid  say,  L©*^,  mhat 
ijBduMeU  thm  habe  hib  to  do?  *iid  «b  receive  fwsMi 
liim  a  bette'r  And  surer  peabe,  Whiteh  will  never  be 
tjiiite  bi-oken,  but  be  the  begihnlng;  bf  thy  ev^sflastffig; 
^eaqb,  atid  'not  perish  in  thy  pfefishiftgi  as  the  gfbuftd* 
less  ^eabe  of  the  wbrid  WilVdb. 

\  6.  (4.)  They  shall  lose  all  theit  carnal  mirth. 
They  will  themselves  say  bf  theit  tm^t&f,  it  fe 
nlad;  and  of  their  mirth,  ibhat  dt^eth  it^^  It  was 
but  o^  thetrdtkUrlgofthornstimderapbt^.  It  made 
Ta.  bla^e  for  a  while,  but  it  Was  presently  gOHei  and 
rettt'rnedlib  moTe.  The  talk  bf  death  and  judgment 
Wa^  itksb^ne  tb  theaa^  bee&u^  itdastiped  their  mirth > 
^They  could  nbt  ewdure  to  think  bf  their  «in  ;diid 
diatage^,  because  these  thougms  sunk  their  spirits^ 
They  knew  ubt  what  it  was  tb  weep  for  siii,  or  to 

*  I  ^liess.  V.  3.  t  Luke  xii  22.  J  Eccl.  ii.  2. 

S  Edcl.  vii.  B.  - 

WHO    LOSE   TllE   SAIMTs'    REST.,  101 

humble  themselves  undet  the  ihighty  hand  of  God. 
They  could  laogh  away  eoirrow,  and.  ding  slway  cares, 
and  drive  away  those  melancholy  thoughts.  To 
meditate,  and  pray,  they  faaeied  would  be  enough 
to  make  them  mis6f able,  or  run  mad.  Poor  sotils, 
what  a  misery  will  that  life  be,  where  you  shall 
nave  nothing  but  sorrow;  intense  heartrpiercing, 
XQuitrpHed  sorrow ;  when  you  shall  neither  have  the 
joys  of  saints,  mbr  your  own  former  jOyB !  Do  yon 
think  there  is  one  merry  heart  in  hell ;  or  one 
joyful  oountenanpe,  or  jesting  tongue?  You  now 
r<jry  a  little  mirth  ii  worth  a  great  deal  of  sorrow. 
,  But,  surely,  a  little  godly  sorrow,  which  would  hav% 
ended'  in  eternal  joy,  had  been  worth  much  more 
than  all  your  foolish  mirth;  for  the  end,  of  Bach 
mirth  is  sorrow.  -"- 

-  ^  7.  {6^  They  shall  also  lose  all  their  setisual 
delights^  That  which  they  esteemed  their  chief  good, 
their  heaven,  their  god,  must  they  losey  as  well  a6 
<^od  himself.  What  a  fall  will  the  proud  ambitious 
man  have  from  -the  cop  of  his  honours !  As  his  dust 
and  bones  will  not  be  known  from  the  dust  ami 
bones  of  the  poorest  beggarl  so  neither  will  his 
soul  be  honoured  or  ^voured  more  than  theirs. 
What  a  number  of  the  great,  noble,  and  learned, 
will  be  shut  out  Of  the  presence  of  Christ!  They 
shall  not  JBnd  their  magiriiieent  buildings,  soft  beds, 
and  easy  couches.  '  They  shall  not  view  their  curi* 
oas  gardeftB,  their  pleasant  meadows,  and  plenteous 
harvests.  Their  tables  will  riot  be  so  furnished,  not 
attended.  The  rich  man  is  there  no  more  clothed  in 
ptrph  mid  fiM  linen,  nor  fareth  aumpttmtskj'  eloery 
dajf.  'There  is  no  expecting  the  admiration;  of  be- 
holders: Tliey  shal^r  spend  their  time  in^sadiiess, 
atid  not  in  sports,  and  pastimes.    Wha*  an  altera* 

102  THE    GREAT    MISERY    OF   THOSE 


tion  will  they  f  Aew  find ! .  The  heat  of  their  lust  will 
Jbe  then'  abated..  How  will  it  even,  cut  them  to  the 
heart,  to  look  each  other  in  the  face!  What  .an 
interview  will  there,  then  beJ!  cursing>  the  day  that 
ever  they!saw  one  another!. lO  that. sinners  would 
now  remember,  and  say,  .r."  Will  these  delights 
accompany!  us  into  the  other  world  ?  Will  not  the 
remembrance  of  theki  be  then  our  torment?  Shall 
we  then  take  .  this  partnership  .  in  vice  for  true 
friendship?  .  Why  should. we  sell  such  lasting,  in- 
comprehensible joys  for  a  taste  of  seeming  pleasure  ? 
Come,  as  we  have  sinned  together,  let  us  pray  to- 
gethdrj  that. Gt)d  would  pardon  us;  and  let  us  help 
one*  another  towards  heaven^  instead.of  helping  to 
deceive  and?  destroy  .each,  other."  O  that  men  knew 
but  what  they  desire,  when  they  would  so  fain  have 
all  things  suited  to  the  desires  of  the  flesh!  It  is 
but  to  desire  their  temptations  to  be  increased  and 
thejr,  snares  strengthened.  .       - 

:  ^  8., (1.1.)  As  the  loss  of  the  saints'  rest  will  be 
aggravaited.  by  losing  the  enjoyments  of  time,,,  it  will 
be  .much  more  so, by  suffering  the  torments, of  Helii 
.The  exceedirigigreatijess  of  such  torments  may  ap- 
pear by  considering^T-r^t'he  principal  AutHo,r  of  them, 
,who  is  God"  himself;— the  pliace  or  state  of  tor- 
ment;— that  these  torments  are,  the  fruit  of, divine 
vengeance — that  the  ;  Almighty  ta)ies- .'pleasure  in 
them; — that,  Satan,  and  sinners  themseilves  shall  be 
God's  executioners  ;— .that,  these  torments  S;hall.  be 
universal, — without  mitigation, — and  without  end.  ' 

§  9.  (1.)  The  principal  author  of  hell-torments  is 
God  himsejf.  Ap  it  was  no  less  than  God  whom 
the  sinners  had  ofFeijded,  so  it  is  no  less  than  Gocl 
who  will. punish  them  for  ,theiT  offences,  He  hath 
prepared  .  th,6se,    torments  .for. -his,  enernies.  -  ]fti§ 

WHO    LOSE -THE   saints'   REST.  103 

continued' anger' will  still  be  devouring  them.  His 
bneath  of  indignation  will  kindle  the  flames.  His 
wrath  will  be  an  intol^^rable  bunden  to  their  souls. 
If  it  were  but  a  crekture'gth'ey  had  to  do  wi|h»-they 
might  bitter  bear  it.  Woe  to  him  that  falls  under 
the  strokes  of  the  Almighty!  It  is  a  fearful  thing 
to  fall  inta  thehands  of  the  living'  God.*.  .  It  Were 
nothing  m  coixipiarison  to  this,  if  all  the  world  were 
against  them,  ; or  if  the  strength,  of  all  creatures 
were  united  in  one  to  inflict  tbieir  penalty."  They 
had  now 'Tether  venture  to!  displease  God  than  dis- 
please a  landlord;  a  customer,  a  mastfer,  a.-frieqd,  a 
neighbour,  or  1  their  own  flesh  ;■  but  then  they  will 
w\sh  a  theusaind  times  in  vairi,  that  they  had  beeil 
hated  of  all  the  world,  rather  than  have  lost  the 
favour  of  God.  What'a  consuming  fire  is  his  wrath  ! 
If  h  he.Mndkd  here  but  a  little,  how  do  vi>e  wither 
like!  the  grass!  'H6W  soon  doth  our  strei^ngth  decay, 
and  turn  to  weakness,  and  our  beauty  to  defoi-mity- 1 
The  .flames  do  not  so  easily  run  through  the  dry 
stubble;  as  the  wrath'  of  God  will  consume  these 
wretches.  They  that  could  nor  bear  a  prison,wor 
a  gibbet,  or  a  Ifire,  for  Chj-ist,  nor  scarce  a  few 
scoflFsjhowi  will  they  now  bear  the  devouring  flajngs 
of  divine  wrath  ? 

,  §  10.  (2.)  The  place  or  state  of  torment  is  pUr-' 
ppsely  ordained  to  glorify,  the  justice  of  God-  When 
God  would  glorify  his  power,  he  made  the  worlds. 
The  comely  order  of  all  his  creatures,  declareth  his 
wisdom.  His  jirovidence  is  shown  in  sustaining  all 
things.  When  a  spark  of  his  wrath  kii^dles  upon 
thp  earth,  the  whole  world,  except  only  eight  .p^i;? 
Sons,'  are  drowned ;  Sodom,  Gomorrah,  Admah,  and 
Zeboim,  are  burnt  with'  fire  from  heaven;  thp  sea 

*  Heb.  X.  31. 

104  IV^   G±EAT  MiaSftY   OF   TH09K 

shuts  her  mouth  u[ion  some,  the  earth  opens  and 
swallows  up  others ;  the  pestilence  destroys  by 
thouaandsj  What  a  standing  witness  of  the  wrath 
of  God,  is  the  present  deplorable  state  of  the  Jews ! 
Yet  the  glorifying  the  mercy  and  justice  of  God  is 
intended  most  eminently  for  the  life  to  come.  As 
God  will  then  glorify  /his  quercy  in,  a  way  that  is 
now  beyond  the  comprehension  of  the  saints  that 
must  enjoy  it ;  so  also  wijl  he  manifest  his  justiee 
to  be  indeed  the  justice  of  God.  The  everlasting 
flames  of  bell  will  not  be  thought  too  hot  for  the 
rebdlious;  and,  when  they  have  thefe burned  througl) 
miUiofis  of  ages,  he  will  not  vepent  him  of  the  evil 
which  bas  befallen  them.  WoB  to  the  soul  that  is 
thus  set  up  as  a  butt  for  the  wrath  of  the  AltnSgihfty 
to  'Sboot  at  i  and  as  a  busb  that  must  burn  in  the 
flames  of  his  jealousy,  and  never  be  iconsiaraed  ! 

■^  11.  (3.)  The  torments  of  the  danuaed  must  be 
extreme,  because  they  are  the  eSect  of  divine  ven«- 
geanee.  Wjath  is  terrible,  but  revenge  is  implacable. 
When  the  great  God  shall  say,  "  My  rebellious 
creatures  shall  now  pay  for  all  the  ^  abuse  of  my 
patience.  Remember  how  I  waited  you>r  leisuce  in 
vain,  how  I  stooped  to  persUa^e  and  entreat  you. 
Did  you  think  I  would  always  be  so^6ligh6ed  ^''v 
Then  "win  4ie  be  revenged  for  every  abused  mercy, 
and  for  all  their  neglects  of  Christ, and  grace.  Q 
that  men  would  foresee.  thi$,  and  plea^  Gad/beliter 
in  preventing  their  wOel 

§  12.  (4.)  Consider  also,  that  though  God  :had 
rather  men  wouM  accept  of  C'hrist  and  inercy^  yet 
when  they  persist  in  rebellion,  he  will  take  pleasuiis 
in  their  execution.  He  tells  us,  fiiry  is  mot  in  me;  yet, 
he  adds,  wfia  would  set  the  briars  and  thorns  against 
me  in  battle  ;  /  would  go  thmughtkem,  I  would  burn 

WHO  LOSE    THE   SAINTS*  R^IST.  105 

them  togethef:.  Wretched  creatures !  .when  he  thqi 
made  them  will  not  have  mercy  on  them,,  anA  he  that 
fomted  them  will  show  them  nofavrmr.*  As  the  Lord 
rejoiced  over  them  to  do  them  good;  so  the  Lord  will 
rejoice  over  them  to  destroy  them,  and  to  hringthem  to 
nought.f  Woe  to  the  souls  whom  God  rejoiceth 
to  punish  !  He  will  laugA  at  their  calamity,  he  will 
mock  when  their  foar  cometh;  vshen  their  fear  cometh 
as  desolation,  and  their  destruction  cometh  as  a 
whirlwind;  when  distress  and  anguish  cometh  upon 
them.X  Terrible  thing,  when  none  in  heaven  or 
earth  can  help  them  but  God,  and  he  shall  rejoicd  in 
their  caJami'ty  !  Though  scripture  speaks  of  God^s 
laughing  and  mocking;  not  literally,  but  after  the 
manner  of  men;  yet.  it  is  such  an  act  of  God  in' 
tormenting  the  sinner, 'which  cannot  otherwise  be 
rhore  "fitly  expressed. 

§  13.  (5.)'  Consider  that  Satan  and  themselves 
shall  be  God's  executioners.  He  that  was  here  so 
successful  in  drawing  them  from  Christ,  will  then 
be. th6  instrument  of  their  punishment,  fof  yielding 
to  his  temptations.  That  is  the  rewatd  he  will  give' 
them  for  all  their  service;  for  their  riejecting  the  com- 
mands of  God,  forsaking  Christ,  and  neglecting  their 
souls  at  his  persuasion.  If  they  had  served  Christ  as 
faithfully  as  they  did  Satan,  he  would  have  given 
them  a  better  reward.  It  is  also  most  just,  that  they 
should  be  their  own  tormentors,  that  they  may  see 
their  whole  destruction  is  of  themselves ;  and  then 
whom  can  they  complain  of  but  themselves  ? 

§  14;  (6.)    Consider  also  that  their  torment  will  be' 
universal.     As  all  parts  have^  joined  in  sin,  so  must 
they  all  partake  in  the  torment.     The  soul,  as  it  was 
the  chief  in  Sinning,  shall  be  the  c^hief  in  sufiering; 

*  Isa.  xxvii.  4.  U.     f  Deut.xsviiii  63.     J  Pjrov.  i.  26,  27 


and  as  it  is  of  a  more  exicellent  nature  than  t^ebody, 
so  will  its  toroiients  ^f  >exceed  bodily  torments;. and 
as  its  joys  far  surpass  all  sensual  pleasures,  so  the 
pains  of  the  soul.  eK<:eed  corporeal  pains.-'^It  is  not 
o^Uf.  a  soul,  but  a  sltnful  soul,  tiiat  must  suffer.  Fire 
will  not  bu>rn,  exicept  the  fuel,  be  eonibuslible;  but 
if  the  wsod  be  dry,  how  fiercely  will  it  burn  !  The 
guilt  af  their  sins  will  be  to  damned  souls  like  tinder 
to  giinpo^dier,  to  make  the  f^mes  of  hell  take  hold 
upon  theeawith  fury. — ^Tbe  body  must  alsQ  bear  its 
part.  That  body,  which  wa$  so  carefully  looked  to, 
so  tendjerjy  cherished,  so  curiously  dressed,  what 
mu§t  it  now  endure!  How  are  its  haughty  looks 
now  takien  down*  How  little  will  those  0aijies  regard 
its  comeliness  and  beauty!  Those  eyes  which  were 
wont  to  be  delighted  with  curious  sights,  must  then 
see  nothing  but  what  shall  terrify  them  I  an  angry 
God  above  them,  with  those  saints  whpm  they 
scorned?  enjoying  the  glory  which  -they  have  lost ; 
and  about  them  will  be  only  devjl^  find  damned 
spijijs.  How  will  they  look  back  and  say,  "Are 
all  our  feasts,  and  games,  and  jevels,  come  to  this!" 
Those  ears  which  were  accustomed  to  music  and 
songs,  shdll  hear  the  shrieks  and  cries  of  their  damned 
companions;  chilidrmi  cryklg  out  against  their*  pa^ 
rents,  that  gave  them  jencoar^gement  and  example 
it)  evil;  husb;i|id8  and ivive«,  masters  and  servasits, 
ministers  and  p^{^i  iMgistrates  and  «ubi@ot9, 
changing  tjbieir  mia^ry  upon  ong  another,  for  discou- 
raging in  duty,  conniving  at  sii»,  and  being  silenit, 
when  they  should  have  plainly  foretold  the  danger. 
Thus  will  soul  and  bqdy  be  companions  in  woe. 

§15.(7.)  Far  greater  will  these  torments  be, 
because  without  mitigation.  In  this  life,  when  told 
of  h,dlv  -Cff. if  Qoascienci^  troubled  their  pe^ce,  they 

WHO   LOSE  THE   SMNTS^   RI&ST.  107 

had  comforters  at  hand ;  their  camat  friendst  their 
business^  their  company, -their  mirth.  They  could 
drink,  play^  or  sleep  away  their  sorrows,  Ekit  irow 
all  these  remedies  are  vanished^  Th«ir  hard  pre- 
sumptuous unbelieving  fateairt  was  a  wall  to  defend 
tbem  agaiftsf  trouble  of  mind.  Satan>  was  himself 
their  comforter,  as  he  was  to  our  first  mother:  Hatii 
God  saiA,  ye  shcdl  not  eatP  ye  shall  wot  surely  die. 
Doth  God  tej'l  you  that  you  shall  lie  in  hell?  It 
is  no  such  matter  j;  God  is  more  merciful.  Or  if 
there  be  a  hell,  what  need  you  fear  it?  Are  not 
you  Christians  ?  Was  not  the  blood  ©f  Christ  shed 
for  you?"  Thus,  as  the  Spirit  of  Christ  isi  thecoma- 
forter  of  the  saints,  so  Satan '  is  the  comforter  of  the 
wicked.  Never  was  a  thief  more  careful  lest  he 
should  awake  the  people,  when  be  is  robbing  the 
house,  than  Satan  is  not  to  awaked;  a  sinner.  But 
when  the  s-inner  is  dead,  then  Satan  h&th  done 
flattering  and' comfoi'ting.  Which  way,  then,  will 
the  forlorn  sinner  Ikpok  fbrcomfort?  They  that  drew 
him  into  the  snare,  and  promised  him  safety,  now 
forsake  him,  and>  are  forsaken  themselves.  His 
comforts  are  gone,  and  the  righteous  God,  whose 
forewarnings  he  made  light  oi,  will  now  make  good 
his  word  against  him  to  the  least  tittle. 

^  16.(8.)  But  the  greatest  aggravation  Of  these 
torments  will  be  their  eternity.  When  a  thousand 
millions  of  ages  are  past,  they  are  as  fresh  to  beg^'-n 
as  the  first  day.  If  there  were  any  hope  of  an  endi, 
it  would  ease  the  damned  to  foresee  it  j  hat  for  ei)^, 
is  an  intolerable  thoiighit.  They  were  never  weary 
of  sinning,  nor  Will  God  be  weary  of  punishing. 
They  never  heartily  repented  of  sin,'  nor  will  God" 
repent  of  their. saffering.  They  broke  the  laws  of 
the  €ternal>  God^  and  therefore  siball  suffer  eternal 

108  THE    GREAt    MISERY    OF   TI^OSE 

^punishment.'  They  knew  it  was  ati  everlasting  king- 
dom which  th6y  refused;  and  what  wonder,  if  they 
are  everlastirtgly  shut  out  of  it  ?  Their  ioimortal 
souls  were  guilty  of  the  trespass,  and  therefore  must 
immortaHy  suffer  the  pains.'  What  happy  men  would 
they  think  themselvesj  if  they  might  have  lain  still 
in  their  graves,  ot  might  but  there  lie  down  again  ! 
How  will  they  call'  and  cry,  "  O  death,  whither 
art,  thou  now  gone?  Now  come  and  cut  off  this 
doleful,  life.  O  that,  these  pains  would  break'  my 
heart,  and  end  my  being,!  O  that  I  ipight  once  at 
last  die  f  O  that, I  bad  never  had  a  being!"  These 
groans  will  the  thoughts  of  eternity  wring  from  their 
hearts.  They  were  worjt  .  to  think  sermons  and 
prayers  long;  how  long  then  will  they  think  these 
•eadltess  torments?  .What  difference  is  there  betwixt 
the  length  of  their  pleasures. and  tbeir  pains!  The 
one  continued  but  a  moment,  the  other  endureth 
throu^  ail  eternity.  Sinner,  remember, how  time 
is  almost  gone.  Thou  art  standing  at  the  door  of 
eternity;  and  death  is  Waitipg  to  open  the  door, 
and  put  thee  in.  Go,  sleep  out  a  few  more  nights, 
and,  stir  abou*  a  few-  more  days  on  earth,  and  then 
fhy'riigbts  a!nd  days  shall  end;  thy  thoughts,  and 
care$,  and  pleasures,  shall. all  be; devoured  by  eter- 
nity; thou  must  enter  upon  the  state  which  sball 
never  be  changed.  As  the  joVs  of  heaven  are  beyond 
our  conception,  so  are  the  pains  of  hell.  Everlasting 
torment  is  inGonceiv^ble.  torment.  ..  -  .  »-  ■ 
§  17.  But  m^hinks  I  see  the  obstinate  sinner 
desperaftely  resolvingy,  "  If  I  damned,  there 
is  no  remedy.  Ratlier  than  I  will  live  a?  the  scrip- 
ture requires,  I  will  put  it  to  the  venture  ;^  I  shall- 
escape  as  well  as  the  rest  of  my  neighbours,  "and 
we  will  even  bear  it  as  well  as  we  can."    Alas ! 

WHO    LOSE    THE    SAINTs'   REST.  109 

poor  creature,  let  me  beg  this  of  thee,  before  thou 
dost  so  flatly  resolve,  that  thou  wouidst  lend  me  thy 
attention  to  a  few  questions,  and  weigh  them  with 
the  reason  of  a  man.— Who  art   thou,  that   thou 
.sh6uldst  bfear  the  wrath  of  God  ?  Art  thou  a  god,  or 
aman  ?  What  is  thy  strength?  is  it  not  as  the  strength 
of  wax,  or  stubble,  to  resist  the  fire ;  or  as  chaff  to 
the' wind;  or  as  dust  before  the  fierce  whirlwind? 
If  thy  strength  were  as  iron,  and  thy  bones  as  brass; 
if  thy  foundation  were  as  the  earth,  and  thy  power 
as  •  the   heavens,  yet   shbuldst  thou  perish   at  the 
breath  of  his  indignation.     How  much  more,  when 
thou  art  but  a  piece  of  breathing  clay,  kept  a  few 
days    from  being  eaten   with  worms,  by  the  mere 
support  and  favour  of  him  whom  thou  art  thus  re- 
sisting!— Why  dost    thou  trenible  at   the  signs. of 
almighty  power  and  wrath  ?     At  claps  of  thunder,  or 
flashes  of  lightning;  or   that  unseen    power  which 
rends:  in  pieces  the  mighty  oaks,   and  tear^  down 
the  strongest  buildings;  or  at  the  plague,' when  it 
rageth  around  thee  ?    If  tlibu  hadst  seen  the  plagues 
of  Egypt,  or  the  earth  swallow  up  Dathan  and  Abi- 
ram ;  or  Elijah  bring  fire  from  heaven  to  destroy  the 
captains  and  their    companies,  would   not  ^ny  of 
these  sights  have  daunted  thy  spirits?     How  then 
canst  thou  bear  the  plagues  of  hell  ?— Why  art  thou 
dismayed  with  «(ich  small  sufferings,  as  befall  thee 
here  ?  A  toothache,  a  fit  of  the  gout,. or  stone,  the 
loss  of  a  limb,  or  falling  into  beggary  and  disgrace? 
And  yet  all  these  laid  together  will  be  one  day  ac- 
counted a  "happy  state,  in  comparison  of  that  which 
is  suffered  in  bell. — Why  do^s  the  approach  of  death 
So  much  affright  thee?     O  how  cold  it  thy 
heart !    iAnd  would,  not  thft  grave  be,  accounted  a 
paradise,  conjparedwitb  that  place  of  torment  which 


thdu  slightest?- — Is  it-aa  in  tolerable  tbiiig. to  burn 
part  of  thy  body,  byrholdingit  in  the  fire  ?  What 
then  will  it  be;  to  suiOSer  ten  thousand  times  more 
for  ever  in  hell? — ^Why  does- the  thou^t  or  mention 
of  hell  occasion  any  disquiet  in  thy  spirits  ^  And 
eanst  thou  endure  the  .tormeKr4s  themselves  ?— Why 
dQth  the  rich  man  complain  to  Abrahamc^^  torments 
in  hell?  Or  thy  dying  companions  lose  their  €K)urag:e, 
and  change  their  haughty  language  ?— Why  cannot 
these  make  as  light  x>f  hell  as^  thyself? — ^Pidst  thou 
never  see  or  speak  with  a  man  under  despftir  ?  How 
uncomfortable  was  his  talk  !  How  burdensome  Tiis 
life  !  Nothing  he  possessed  did  him  ^)0d:  he  had 
no  sweetness  in  meat  or  drink;  the  sight  of  friends 
troubled  him;  he  was  weary  of  life,  and  fearful  of 
death.  If  the  misecy  of  the  damtned  can  be  endured, 
why  cannot  a  man  more  easily  endure  these  fore- 
taistes  of  hell?  What  if  thou  shouldst  see  the  devil 
appear  to  thee  in  some  terrible  shape?  Wouldi  not 
thy  heart  fail  thee,  and  thy  hair  stand  on  an  end? 
And  how  wilt  thou  endure  tolive  for  ever,  where 
thou  sh?lt  have .  no  other  company  bat  devils^  and 
the  damned,  and  .shall  not  only  see.  them,  but  be 
tormented  with  them  and  by  them,? — Let  me  once 
more  ask,,  if  the  wrath  of  God  be  so  Kght,  why  did 
the  Son  of  God  himself  make  so  great  a  matter  of  it  3~ 
It  made  him.  sweat  as  it  were  great  drops  of  blood 
falling  down  to  the  ground.  The  Lord  of  life  erred. 
My  soul  -is  exceeding  mrraurfkilf  seen,  unto  death.  And 
on  the  cross,  iM^-  God,-  my  God,  why  hast  thou 
forsaken  me?  Surely  if  any  one;  could  have  borne 
these  sufferings  easily,  it  would  have  been  Jesus 
Christ.  He  bad  another  measure  of  strrength  to  beac 
it  than  thou  bast.  Woe  to  th>ee,^sinner,  for  thy  mad 
security!     Dost  thou  think  4a  find  it  tderafele  to 

WHO  XO«B  THE  SAI3IT3*   REST,  i  111 

th«e,  which  was  so  heavy  to  Christ  ?   ^ay,  the  Soa 
»f  God  is  cast  into  a  bitter  agony,' and  bloody  swe^t, 
only  under  the  curse  of  the  law ;  and  yet  thou,  feeble, ' 
foolish  creature,  inakest  nothing. to  bear  also  the  curse 
of  the  gospel,  which  requises  a  much  sorer  punish- 
ment.*    The  good  Lord  bring  thee  to  thy  right  mind 
by  repentance,  lest  thou  buy  thy  wit  at  too  dear  a  rate ! 
§  18.  And  now.  Reader,  I  demand  thy  resolution, 
what  use  wilt  thou  make  of  all  this  ?     Shall  it  be  lost 
to  thee  ?    or  wilt  thou  consider  it  in  good  earnest  ? 
Thou  hast  cast  away  many  a  warning  of  God,  wilt 
tbou  do  so  by  this  also?    Take  ;heed,  God  will  not 
always  stand  warning  and  thn^itehing.    The  hand  of 
revenge  is  lifted  up,  the  blow  is  icomiog,'  and  woe  to 
him  on  whom  it  lighteth!    Dost  thouthrow  away 
the  book,  and  say,  it  speaks  of  nothing  but  hell  and 
daninaliDn  ?  -  Thus  thou  usest  also  to  complain  of  the' 
preacher.     But  wouldst  thou  not  have  us  telt  thee 
of  these  things  ?    Should  we  be  guilty  of  the  blood  of 
thy  soul,  >hy  keeping  silent  that  which  God  hath 
charged  us  to, make  known  "i  Wouldst  thou  perish  in 
ease  and  silenee,'  and  have  us  to  perish  with  thee, 
rather  than  displease  thee,  by  speaking  the  truth?. 
If  thou  wilt  be  guilty  of  such  inhuman  cruelty,  God 
forbid  we  should  be  guilty  of  such  sottish  iolly^    This 
kind  of  preaching  or  writing,  is  the  ready  way  to  be 
hated ;  and  the  desire  of  applans©  is  so  natural,  that 
few  auchadispleasing  way.    But  consider, 
are  these  things  true,  or  are  they  not  ?    If  they,  were 
not  true,  I  would  heartily  join  with  th^e  against  any 
that  fright   people  without  a  cause.     But  if  these 
threatenings  4>e  the  word  of  God,  what  a  wretch  art 
thou,  that  wilt  hot  bear  it,  and  consider  itf    If  thou 
art  one  of  the  people  of  God,  this  doctrine  will  be 
♦  Heb«  X.  29. 


a  comfort  to  thee,  and  not  a  terror.    If  thou  art  yet 
unregenerate,  methinks-^tbou  shouldst  he  as  fearful  to 
hear  of  heaven  as  of  hell^  except  the  bare  name  ofv 
heaven  or  salvation  be  sufBcient.     Preaching  heaven 
and  mercy  to  thee,  is  entreating  thee  to  seek  them, 
and  not  reject  them;  and  preaching  hell,  is  but  to. 
persuade  thee'  to  avoid  it.     If  thou  wert' quite  past 
hope  of  escaping,  it  j  then  it  vperein  vain  to.tell  thee 
of  hell  i  but  as  long  as  thou  art  alive,  there  is  hope  of' 
thy  recovery,  and  therefore' all  means  must  be  used, 
to  awake  th'ee  from  thy  lethargy.     Alas!  what  heart 
can  now  possibly  conceive,  or  what  tongue  express,, 
the  pains  of  those  soUls,  that  are  linderthe  vvratl^  of; 
God!    Tben<  sinners-,' you  will  be  crying  to  Jesus 
Christ,  "  O  mercy  1    0  pity,  pity  on  a  poor  soul  !** 
Why,  I  do  now,  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  .Jesus,  cry  . 
to  thee,^  "  O  have  mercy,  havE  pity,  man,  upon  thy 
own  soul!"    Shall  God  pity  thee,  who  will  not'be 
enti-eated  to  pity  thyself?    If  thy  horse  seebuta  pit 
before'him,  thbii  canst  scarcely  force;  him  in;  and 
wilt  thou  so  obstinately  cast  thyself  into  hell,  when, 
the  danger  is  foretold  thee?    Who  can  stand  before 
the  indignQiionof  the  Lord?   and  who  cat),  abide  the 
jfierceness  of  his  anger  ?*    Methinks,  thou  shouldst 
need  no  more  words,  but  presently:  cast  away  thy 
soul-damning  sins,  aniS  wholly,  deliver  up  thyselfto 
Christ.     Resolve  on  it  imrejediately,  and  let  ,it  be 
done,  that  I  may  see  thy  face  in  rest  among  the. 
saints..    May  the  Lord  persuade  thy  heart  to  strike 
this  covenant  without  any  longer  delay  !  But  if  thou 
be  hardened   unto  death,- and  there  be  no  remedyji 
yet  say  not  another  day  but  that  thou  wast  faithfully 
warned,  and   hadst  a  friendi  that  would  fain  have 
prevented  thy  damnation. 

*  Nahtim,  i.  6. 


CHAP.    VH. 

The  Necessity  of.  0igently  seeking  the  Saints'  Rest. 

S  1.  The  saints'  rest  surprisingly  neglected ;  particularly,"52.  by^ 
the  worldly-minded,  f  3!.'The  profane  multitude,    §  4.  formal 
profeHs'oTS';  §  5 — S.  and  by  the  godly  themselves,  whether  ma- 
gistrates, ministers,  or  people.     §  9.  The  author  mourns  the 
neglect,  and  excites'  the  reader  to  diligence,  by  considering, 
§  10.  the  ends'  we  aim  at,  the  work  we  halve  to  do,  the  shortness 
and  uncertainty  of  our  \\me,  and  the  diligence  of  our  enemies. 
§.11.  Our  talents,  mercies,  relations  to  God,  and  our  afflictions. 
,  §  12.  What  assistances  we  have,  what  principles  we  profess,  and 
,  our,  certainty  never  to  do  jenp^gb.    §  13.  That  every  grac^  l^nds 
to  diligence,  and  to  trifle  is  lost  labour;  that  niuch  time  is 
mispent,  and  that  our  recompense  and  labour  will  be  proporti- 
elitible.     §14.  That  striving  is  thie  divine'appointndent,  all  men 
do  or  w;ill  approve  it,  the,  best  Christians  at  death  lament  their 
want  of  it,  heaven  is  often' lost  for  want  of  it,  but  never  obtained 
withpiit  it.      §  15.   God,  Christ,  and  the  Holy  Spirit  are  in 
earnest;  God  is  so  in  hearing  and  answering  prayer;  ministers 
in  their  instructions  and  exhortations ;  all  the  creatures  in  serving 
us ;  sinners  irt  .serving  the  devil,  as  we  were  once,,  and  now  are, 
in  fvorldly  things,  and  in  heaven  an4  hell  all  are  in  earnest. 
§  l6.  Th^pbapter  concludes  TSith  proposing  some  awakening 
questions  to  the  ungodly,  and,  §  1 7.  also  to  the  godly. 

§  1.  If  there  be  so  certain  and  glorious  a  rest  for 
the  saints,  why  is  there  no  more  industrious  Seeking 
after  it  ?  One  would  think  if  a  man  did  but  once  hear 
of  9uch  unspeakable  glory  to  be  obtained,  and  believed 
what  he  heard  to  be  true,  he  should  be  transported 
with  the  vehemency  of  his  desire  afterit,  and  should 
almost  forget  to  eat  and  drink,  and  should  care  for 
nothing  else,  and  speak-of  and  inquire  after  nothing 
else,  but  how  to  get  this  treasure.  And  yet  people 
who  hear  of  it  daily,  and  profess  to  believe  it  as  a 
fundamental  article  of  their  faith,.do  as  little  mind  it, 
or  labour  for  it,  as  if  they  had  never  heard  of  any 


lit  the;  necessity   of    DI'LKSEKTLT 

such  thing,  or  did  not  believe  one  word  they  hear. 
This  reproof  is  more  particulaHy  japplicable  to — the 
worldly-minded,— the  prolane  multitude,— ^the  formal 
professors,— aw^  even  to  the  godly  themselves.- 

§  2.  The  worldly- rninded  are  so  taken  up  in  peeking 
,the  things  bqlow,.  that  they  have  neither,  heart  nor 
time  to  seek  this  rest,  Q  foolish  Bmners,  who  hath 
bewitched ytni  ?  The, World  bewitches  men  into  brute 
beasts,  and  draws  th$m  some  degrees  beyond  niadness. 
See  ,what  riding  and  running,  what  scrambling,  and 
catching  for  a  thing  of  nought,  while  eternal  rest  lies 
neglected!  What  contriving  and  caring  to  get  a^tep 
higher  in  the  world  than  their  brethren,  while  they 
neglect  the  kingly  dignity  of  the  saints!  What  in- 
satiable pursuit  of  fleshty  pleasures,  while  they  look 
on  the  praises  of  God,<  the  joy  of  ahgeky  as  a  tiresome 
burden!.  What  unwearied  diligence  in  raiding  their 
posterity,  enlarging  their  possessions,  (perhaps  for  a 
poor  living  from  hand  to  mouth,)  while  judgment  is 
drawing  near;  but  how  it  shall  go  with  them  then, 
never  puts  them  to  one  hour's  consideration  !  What 
rising  early,  and  sitting  up  late,  and  labouring  from 
-year  to  year,  to  maintain  themselves  and  children  in 
cfedit  till  they  die ;  but  what  shall  foUo*  after,  they 
nevei:  think  ojt!  Yet  th«sse  men  cry,  "  May.we  not 
he  saved  without  so  m,uch  ado  ?'-  How  early  do  they 
rouse  up  their  .servants  to  their-  labour;  but  bowr 
seldoni  do  they  call  thtm  to  prayer*  or  reading  the 
scriptures!  What  hath  this  world  done  for  its  lovers, 
and  friends,  that  it  is  so  eagerly  foljx^wed,  and  painfaUy 
sought  after,  while  Christ  aitd;  heaven  stand  by,  and 
few  regard  them  ?  or  what  will  the  world  doi  for  them 
for  the  timeto  come  ?  The  common  entrance  into  it 
is  through  anguish  and  sorrow.  The  passage  through 
it,  is  with  continual  care  and  labour.    The  passage 

SEEKING  THE   SA^WTS*  REST,    f  116 

out  df  it,  is  the  sharpest  of  all.  O  liinreasonaUe, 
■bewitched  men  !  Will  mirth  and  pleasure  stick  close 
to  you  I  Will  gold  and  worldly  glory  prove  fast  friends 
to  you  ii^ithe  time,  of  your  greatest  need  ?  Will  they 
hear  your  cries  in  the  day  of  yourvcalamity  ?  At  tbe 
hour  of  your  death,  will 'they  either  anriwei?  or  relieve 
you  ?  Will  they  go  along  with  you  ^o  the  other  world, 
and  bribe  ithe  judge,  and  "bring  you  off  clear,;  or 
ptif chaise  you  a  place  among  the  blessed  ?  Why  then 
did  the  rich  man  want  a  drop  vf  water  to  cool  his 
tongue  P  Or  iare  the  sweet  morsels  of  present  delrgh't 
and  honour  of  more  worth  than  eternal  rest?  And 
will  they  Recompense  the  loss  of  that  enduring  trea- 
sure 9  Can  there  be  the  least  hope  of  any  of  these  ? 
Ah,  vile,  deceitful  world  !<■  how  oft  have  we  heard  thy 
most  faithful  servants  at  last  complainiDg ;  "  Oh  tbe 
w!orld  hath  deceived  me,  and'  undone  me!  It  flattered 
me  in  my  prosperity^  but  now  it  turns  me  off  in  hiy 
necessity.  If  I  had  as  feithfuUy  served  Christ, 'as 
I  have  served  it,'  he  would  notl'  havie  teft  me  thus 
comfortless  and  hopeless."  Thus  they  complain;  and 
yet  suceeedingisinners  will  take  no  warning. 
.  —^3.  As  for  the  profane  multitude,  they  will  not  be 
persuaded  to  be  at  so  much  phins  for  salvation,  as  to 
j»erform  thecommon  outward  duties  of  religion,.  If 
they  have  the  gospel  preached  in  tbe  town  where  they 
dwell,  itmay  bethey>will  give  the  hearing  to  it  one 
•part  of  the  day,  a«d  stay  at  home  the  other;  or  if  the 
inaster  come  to  the  congregation,  yet  part  of  his 
family  must  stay:  at  home.  If  they  want  the  plain 
and  powerful  preaebing  of  the  gospel,  how  few  are 
there  ini  a  whole  town,  wi»x>  will  travel  a  mile  or  two 
to  hear  abroad ;  though  they  will  go  many  miles  to 
-the<market  for  provisions  for  their  bodies!  They  know 
the  seripture  is  the  hm  of  God,  by  which  they  must 

116  THE   N£CBSSITY   OF   DILIC£19:T€,Y 

be  acquitted  or  condemned  in  judgment;,  and  that 
the  man  is  blessed  who  delights  in  the  law  of  tlw 
Lord,  and'in  his  law  doth  meditate  day  and  mgMi. 
yet  will  they  at  pains  to  read  a  chapter  once 
a!  day.^  If  they  carry  a  Bible  to  church,  and  neglect 
it  all  the  week,  this  is  the  most  use  tjiey  ntake  of  it. 
Though  they  are  commanded  io. pray  without  ceasing, 
and   to  pray  always;   yet  they  will"  neither  pray 
constantly, in,  their  families,  nor  in  secret.     Though 
Daniel  would  rather  be  cast  to  the  li&ns,',i\\an  forbear 
fraying  three  times  a  day  in  his  Aotwe,;  where  his 
enemies  might  hear  him ;  yet  these  men  will  rather - 
venture  to  be  an  eternal  prey  to  Satan,  the  roaring 
lion,  than  thus  seek  their  own  safety.    Or  their  cold 
and  heartless  prayers  invite  God  to  a  denial :  for 
among  men  it  is  taken  for  granted,  that  he  who  asks 
but  slightly,  and  seldom,  cares  not  much  for  what  he 
asks.    They  judge  themselves  unworthy  ;of>  heaven, 
whb  think  it  is  not  worth  their  mote  constant  and 
earnest  requests.  -  If  every  door  was  marked,  where 
families  do  not,  morning  and  evening,  earnestly  seek 
the  Lord  in  prayer,  that  his  wrath  might  be  poured 
•  out  upon  such  prayerleSs  families,  our  towns  would 
be  as  places  overthrown  by  the  plague,  tlie  people 
being  dead  within,  and  the  mark  of  judgment  without. 
I  fear  where  one  house  would  escape,  ten  would  be 
marked  out  for  death;  and  then  they  might  teach 
their  doors  to  pray,  Lord,  hatie  mercy  upon  us,  because 
the  people  would  not  pray  themselves.   But  especially 
if  we  could  see  what  men  doin  their  secret  chambers, 
how  few  would  you  find  in  a  whole  town  that  spend 
one  quarter  of  an  hour,  morning  and  night,  in  earnest 
supplication  to  God  for  their  souls!    O  how  Iktle  do 
these  men. set  by  eternal  rest !  Thus  do  they  slothfuUy 
neglect  all  endeavours  for  their  own  weHaie,  except 


some  public  duty  in  the  congregation, 'which  custom 
or  credit  engages  them  to.  Persuade  them  to  read 
good  books,  learn  the  grounds  of  religion  in  their 
Catechism,  and  sanctify  the  Lord^s-day  in  prayer,  and 
meditation,  and  hearing  the  word,  and  forbiearing  all 
worldly  thoughts  arid  speeches ;  and  what  a  tedious 
life  do  they  take  this  to  be?  As  if  tfaey  thought 
heaven  were  not  worth  doing  so  much  for. 

§  4.  Anothei:  sort  are  formal  professors,  who  will 
be  brought  to  an  outward  duty,  but  to  the  inward 
work  of  religion  they  will  never  be  persuaded.  They 
will  preach,  or  hear,  or  read,  or  talk  of  heaven^  or 
pray  in  their  families,  and  take  part  with  the  persons 
or'  causes  that  are  good,  and  desire  to  be  esteemed 
among  the  godly ;  but  you  can  never  bring  them  to 
the  more  spiritual  duties;  as,  to  be  constant  and 
fervent  in  secret  prayer  iand  meditation  ;  conscientious 
in  self-examination  ;  heavenly-minded ;  to  watch  over 
their  hearts,  words,  and  ways;  to  mdrtify  the  flesh, 
and  not  make  provision  to  fulfil  its  lusts;  to  love  and 
heartily  forgive  an  enemy,  arid  prefer  their  brethfeh 
before  themselves ;  to  lay  all  they  have,  or  do,  at  the 
feet  of  Christ,  and  prize  his  service  and  favour  before 
all ;  to  prepare  to  die,  and  willingly  leave  all  to  go  to 
Christ. ,  Hypocrites  will  never  be  persuaded  to  any 
of  these. — If  any  hypocrite  entertains  the  gospel  with 
joyi  it  is  only  in  the  surface  <?f  his  soul;  he  never 
gives  the  seed  any  depth  of  earth :  it  changes  his 
opinion,  but  never  melts  and  new-moulds  his  heart, 
nor  sets  up  Christ  there  in  full  power  and  authority. 
As  his  reiligion  lies  most  in  opinion,  so  does  his  chief 
business  and  conversation.  He  is  usually  an  ignorant, 
bold,  conceited  dealer  in  controversies,  rather  than 
an  bumble  embracer  of  known  truth,  with  love  and 
obedience.  By  his  slighting  the  j  udgments  and  persons 


of  Others,  and. seldom  talking  witli  seriotisness  and 
humility  of  the.  great  things  of  Christi  he  shows* his 
religion  dw^ells  in  the  brain,  and.  not  ip  his  heart. 
The  wind  qf  temptdfion  carries' him  aw'at/i  as  a  feather, 
because  his  heart  is  not  established  with  Christ  and 
grace.    (He  never  in  private  conv-efa^tioiiv  humbiy 
bewails  his  soul's  imperfections,  or  tenderljTaoknowr 
ledges   his  unkindness  to  .Christ;  but  gathers  bis 
greatest  comforts  froni>  hi*  being  of  such  a  judgment ' 
or  party. — ^The  like- iriay  be  said  of  the  worldly 
hypocrite,  who  chokes  the  gospel  with  the  ibocns  ef 
worldly, cares  atid  desires.     He  is  convinced^  that  he 
must  be"  religious,  or  he.canQ<H:  be.  saved  ;  and  there- 
fore he  reads,'  and  hears,  and  prays,  and  forsakes  his 
former  company  and  oourses;  but  he  resolves  to  keep 
his  hold  of  present  things.    His  jbdgmentrtnay  say; 
God  is  the  chief  good;  but  his  heart  and  affectiqBS 
never  said  so.     The  world  hath  more  of  his  affections 
than  God,  and  therefore  it  is, his  god.    -Though  he 
does  not  run  after  opinions  and  novelties,  Hke  the 
former,  yet  he  will  be  of  that  opinion  which  will  best 
serve  his  worldly  advanlaget  :   And  as  onie  whose; 
spirits  are  enfeebled  by  some  fiestileiiiitial  disease ;  so, 
this  man's  spirits  b.eing  possessed  by;  title  plague  of  a 
worldly  disposition,  how  fedile  is  be  in  secret  prayec! 
how  superficial  in  exiamination  and  meditation!  homr 
poor  i n  heart-watch ings  \  how  nothing  at  all  in  h 
pnd  walking  with  God,>rejoicing  in  him,  or> 
him  ! — So  that:  both  these,  and  noanyi  other  sortSiOf 
hypocrites,  though  they  will  gp.with  you  in  theeasiy 
outside  gf  religion,  yet  will  never  be  at  the  pains  6f 
inward  and  spiritual  duties.  )    .  '  i 

^  3>.  And  even'  the  godly  themselves)  iare  too  lazy 
seekers  of  their' everlasting  rest.  Alas  I  wfaiat  a  dis* 
proporMon  is  there   between  ^ur  ;h'g^t  and  -heali:j 


our  profession  andi  prosecution  i  W^hb  makes  that 
baste  as  if  iti^ere  for  heaven  ?  How  still  we  stand  r 
How  idly  we 'work !  how  we  talk  and  jest,  and 
trifle  away:  our  time  !  how  deceitfully  we  iperfpntt-, 
the  work  of -God!  how  we  hear,  as  if  we  heard 
not'!  <and  pr^y,' as  if  we  prayed  not!  and  eKamine^ 
and  medvtate,  and  reprove  sin,  as  if  we  did  notl 
and  enjoy  Christ,  as  if  we  enjoyed  him  not!  as  if 
we'  had  learndd  to  use  the  thin^  of  heaven,  as  the 
apostle  teacheth  us  to  use  the  things  of  the  world f 
What  a  frozen  stupictity  has  benumbed  us!  we  are 
dying,  and  we  know  it,  and  yet  we  stir  not;  we 
are  at  the^door  of  eternal  happiness,' or  misery,  and- 
yet  we  perceive  it  not;  death  knocks,  and  we  hear 
it  not ;  God  and  Christ  call  and  cry  to  us,  "  Td-day 
Vp  ye  will  hear  nmg  voice,  harden  not  your  hearts; 
work  while  it  is  day,  for  the  night  eometh  whew 
none  ca«  worAj*"  Now  ply  your  business,  labour 
for' your  lives,  lay  out  atlyour  strength'  and  time; 
now  or  never!  and  y^  we  stir  no  more  than  if  we 
were  half  asleep.  -What  baste  do  death  and  judgment 
make  I  how  fast  do  they  come  on!  they  are  almost 
at'  US)  and  yet  wh$t  tittle  haste  we  make!  Lord,  what 
a  'Senseless^  •■  earthly,  hellish  thing  is  a  hard  heart ! 
Where  is  the  man  that  is  in  earnest  a  Christian! 
Methinks  men  every-where  make  but  a  trifle  of  their 
eternal  state.  They  look  after  it  but  a  little  by  the 
bve  ;  they  do  not  make  it  the  business  of  their  lives. 
If  I  tvere  not  sick  myself  of  the  sairie  disease,  with 
what  tears  should  I  mix  this  ink;  with  what  groans 
should  I  express  these  complaints^  and  w^th,  what> 
heart-grief  should  I  mourn  over  this  universal  dead- 
ness ! 

§  6,    Do  DHiagistrates  ampng  us  seriously  perform 
their  work!    Are  they  zealous  for  God?    Do  they 


build  up  his  house?  Ave  they  tender  of  his  honour? 
Do  they  second  the  word?  And  fly  in  the  face  of 
sin  dnd  sinners,  as  the  disturbers  of  our  peace,  and 
only  cause  of  aU  our  miseries?  Do  they  improve  all 
their  power,  wealth,  and  honour,  and  all  their  influ- 
ence, for  the  greatest  advantage  to  the  kingdom  of 
of  Christ,  as  men  that  must  shortly  give  an  accouat 
of  their  stewardship  ? 

§  7.  How  thin  are  those  ministers  that  are  serious 
in  their  work!  Nay,  how  mightily  do  the  very  best 
fail  in  this!  Do  we  cry  out  of  men's  disobedience  to 
the  gospel  in  the  demonstration  of  the  S'pirit,  and 
deal  with  sin  as  the  dest(!oying  fire  in  our  towns,  and 
by  force  pull  men  out  of  it?  Do  we  persuade  people,, 
as  those  should,  that  know  the  terrors  of  the  Lord? 
Do  we  press  Christ,  and  regeneration,'  and  faith,  and 
holiness,  believing  that,  without  these,  men  can  ijever 
have  life?  Dp  our  bowels  yearn  over  the  ignoranti 
careless,  and  obstinate  maltitpde?  When  we  loqk 
thienii  in  the  face,  do  our  hearts  melt  over  them,  lest 
we  should  never  see  their  faces  in  rest.  Do  we,  as 
FiLu\,{tell4hem,  weeping,  of  their  fleshly  and  eattbly 
disposition  ?  And,  teach  them  publicly,  an4frio^  hoats<f 
to  house,  at  all  seasbm,  and  with  many  teors?  And 
do  we  entreat  them,  as  for  their  soul's  salvation  ?;  Qr 
rather,  do  we  not  study  Ip  gain  the  approbation  of 
critical  hearers;  as  if  a  minister's  business  were  of  no 
more  weight  but  to  tell  a  smooth  tale  for  an  ho.ur,  and 
look  no  more  after  the  people  till  the  next  sermon  ? 
Does  not  carnal  prudence  controul  our  fervour,  and 
make  our  discoi^rses  lifeless,  on  subjects  the' most 
piercing  ?  How  gently  do  we  handle  those  sins,  which 
will  so  cruelly  handle  our  people's  souls!  In  a  wrord, 
our  want  of  seriousness  about  the  things,  of  heaven, 
charms  the  souls  of  men  into  formality,  and  brings 

SEK'K.^NG   THE   SAINTS*   REST.  ^       121 

theCQ  to  this  cus<toinary  careless  hearing,  whichundoes 
.them!  May  the  Lord  pardon  the  great  sin  of  the 
ministry  in  this  thing;  and  in  particular,  my  own! 

^■8.  And  are  the  people  more  serious  than  ma- 
gistrates or  ministers?  How  can  it  be  expected? 
Reader,  look  but  to  thyself,. aod  resolve  the  question. 
Ask  conscience,  and  suffer  it  to  tell  thee  truly.  Hast 
Ihou  set  thy  eternal  rest  befbre  thine  eyes,  as  the 
great  business  thou  hast  to  do  in  this  world?:  Hast 
thou  watched  arid  labpurisd,  with  all  thy  vaighttthat 
no  man  tahethy  crown?  Hast  thou  made  haste,  lest 
thou  shouldst  come  too  late,  and  die  before  thy  work 
be  done  ?  Hast  thp.u  pressed  .  on  thfojugh.;  crowds  of 
oppositiqn,  towards  the  marhyfor  the  prize  of  the 
high  calling  of  God  in  Christ  Je««,' still  reaching 
forth  unto  those  things  which  are  before?  Can  con- 
science witness  your  secret  cries,  E^nd  groans^  and 
tears?  Can  your  family  wilness,  that  you.  taught 
them  the  fear  of  the  Lord,  ^d  warned  them  not  to 
go  to  that  place  of  torment?  Can  your  minister'wit- 
ness,  that:  he  has  heard  you  cry  out,  What  shall  J  do 
to  he  satied?  and  that  you  have  followed  him  with 
<}omplaints  against  your  corruptions,  and' with, earnest 
inquiriesafter  the  Lord?  Can  your  neighbours  about 
you  witness,  that  you  reprove  the  ungodly,  and  take 
pains  to  savethe  souls  of  ypur  Jjrethren?  Let  all 
these  witnesses  judge  this  day  between'  God  "and 
you,  whether  you  are  in  earnest  about  eternal ,  rest.' 
You  can  tell  by  his  work,  whether  your  servant 
has  loitered,  though  you  did  not  see  him;  so  you 
may  by  looking  at  your  own  work.  ,  Is  your  love 
to  Christ,  ypUT  faith,  your  zeal,  and  other  graces, 
strong  or  weak?  What  are  your  joys?  What  is 
your  assurance?  Is  all  in  order  within  you?  Are 
you  ready  to  die,  if  this  should  be  the  day?    Do 


14ft  THJE  iifecttSSllt  *¥  DitidieSffLY 

yhu9     J6(%e  by'lh?*;  SM  it  will  t^MlMy  appete 
whe*H«f  ytju  havd  b*e/i  i&b6ui'*'fs  or  Ibitfcrers. 

%  9.  O  ble^ed  Wst,  how  iihwonhiiy  art  thou 
h'^llectetl!  O  ^"kiriords  kiiigdofei^  how  aft  tboa 
«ft(derv&lttd[ !  Liitle  ktiow  the  catrfesasons  of  taett, 
vrbat  a  gtatfe  they  set  so  ■  light  by.  >  If.  tb^  einee 
khert^  it,  they  vfotild  surely  bsof  anothtr  mind. 
I  liope  tbtrtl,  JEieader,  Art  sfeflsiblev  what  a  desperate 
thifig  U  is  t6  trifle  abeai  etefttal  rest;  and  how 
deeply  thou  hast  bbeli  guilty  of  thi«' thyself.  And 
I  hop*  fejsb,  thou  wilt  not  now  suffer  this  convic- 
ticfii  to  diet,  Should  the  physician  tell  thee,  «  If  ywa 
Will  bbserve  bot  One  things  I  doubt  not  to  cure 
Jr®^t  diiease,^' 'woxildst  ttidu  not  6bser«B  it?  Sol 
tdl  th«e,  if  thbu  wilt  observe  but  thiis  bne  thing 
for  thf  ^oul,  I  tfiake  no  doubt  of  thy  salvation; 
fthake  off  thy  etoth,  and  put  to  all  thy  stre^gth^  and 
be  a  Christian  indeed;  I  know  not  then  what  can 
hiflder  thy  Jiap^ilseis.  Ad  far  as  thou  art  gohefrom 
Odd,  ie@k  bill  with  all  thy  heart,  and  no  doubt  thiou 
shait  find  him.  Ka  unkind  tis  thou  hast  been  tb 
Jesus  Chmt)  seek  him  heartily,  obey  him  unreger- 
Vedly,  iElud  thy  salvatioin  is  as  sure  as  if  thou  hadst 
it  tfl^^dy.:    But  full  as  Christ's  satisfaction  is,  free 

Els  the  pitriak^  ist  krge  as  th«  mercy  of  God  is;  if 
thou  only  talk  (of  theie,  when  tbou  shouldst  eagerly 
eBtertain  them,  thou  wilt  be  never  the  better^ 
thern  5  and  if  thoU  loiter,  when  thou  shOuldst  labsu*, 
thou  wilt  losfe'^the  crown.  Fall  to  work  then  sfieedily 
and  seriously,  and .  bless  Gtod  that  thou  hast  yet 
time  to  do  it.  And  to  sfhpw  that  I  urge  thee  not 
without  cause,  I  will  here  add  a  variety  of  animating 
considerations.  RotlSe  up  thy  spirit,  and,  as  Moses 
said  to  \^tae\,-sst  th^  Mart  unto  allihetverds  which 

fta^if  mti>  thee  this  dc^^; ^ft  f^ffpt  apfji^thmgf 
feoXWW  a   is  yfnir  l^fe.^     MW/tlt^  l-m^  Wftn  % 

;§  10.  Consider,  hP>vTe?siQp,ablp  it  ijj, '^|n9,t  oa^ 
diligence!. gb^uld  he.  .ar^sweraj^le  jp  t^  ei^jj^  w^^g^^ 
8t»  totjje  W(Wk  Wieliave  tfxd^?*,  tp  the  s,hortjiesi^  ap4 
WniC0rltaioty  of  quf  tApse,  *pd  tg»  .t^.e  cQnlx^y- dili- 
gence,of  our  ejieoaies.TT'The  epd*  pf  a  Christian's 
desires  aad  end^g^vQqfs  aje  sf)  gr^;,,  that  no,  hi^iin^fl 
URdprstandipg  an  je^J^  ca.n  J9f>mpi;^hepd  *i\\^^,  W^ftt 
is  so  excellent,  so  !mpoFt;ant,  or,  ;^o,  necessary,  af 
the  glorifying  of  God,  the  ^alv^tion  of  oi;r  oji^i^  an,d 
p)l\\pf  i»?©'s  sQuls,  by  escaping  the  tormeuts  of  h^jl, 
afld  possessing  the  glpry  erf"  heaven  ?  Apd  can  a  p^an 
^  too  rnuch  affected  with  things  pf  such  iQ,<p^ment?  ,; 
Ran  he  d^^ire  tjvtip  too  e.a,i;nestly,  or  love  them  19^9 
^IffWgly.  or.lahpurfar;  thjeini  fop  diligently  ?  Po  nof 
yys  know,  Jhat  jif  ,^api;  pi^ayers  prevail  not,  and  quf 
labopr  s^cq^edsr  not,  we  are  undone  for  everp^r- 
The  work  of  a  Christi^p  here  is  very  gr^at  and 
various.  The  sOul  ipust  be  renewed;  corruption^ 
inust  be  fortified  ;  <;ustom,  t;omptations,  and  worldly 
^nter^stSjiiigst  be  conqg,ei!?d;  flesh  must  be^ubdued; 
•)i^,  friends,  and  qredit  rpust  be  slighted;  conscience 
on  good  grounds-^be  quieted  ;  and  assurance  of  pardop' 
^pdiSalvatipp  attained-  Though  Gqd  must  give  us 
th^e  wi|:hQut  Qur  n^e^rit,  yet  he  will  not  give  them 
wijhoutt  pur  earnest  seeking  ^nd  labour.  Besides, 
there  is  n^uch  knowledge, to  be  got,  many  ordinances 
tp  be  used,  and  duties  to  be  performed  :>every  age, 
year,  and  day ;  every  plafie  we  come  to ;  every 
person  we  deal  with  ;«very  chapge  of  our  condition; 
j^pjl  require  the  renewing, of  our  labour:  wives^  chil- 
4ren,  servants,  neighbours,  frifucki  energies,  all  of 
*  pejit.  »xxii.  46.  47. 


them  call  for  duty  from  us,  Judge  then,  whetlieV 
itnen  that  have  so  much  business  lying  upon  theiT 
hands,  should  not  exert  themselves ;  and  whether  it 
be  their  wisdom  either  to  dielay  or  loiier.— Time 
piasseth  on.  Yet  a  few.  days,  and  we  shall  be  here 
no  more.  Many  diseases  are  r^dy-- 16  assault  us. 
Ve  that  are  now  preaching,  and  hearing,  and  talking, 
and  walking,  must  very  shortly  be  carried,  ^nd  laid 
in  the  dustj  andther6  left  to  the  worftis  in  darkness 
and  corruption  ;  we  are  almost  there  already ;  we 
know  not  whether  we  shall  have  another  sermon,  or 
sabbath,  of  hour.  How  active  should  they  be  who 
know  they  have  so  short  a  space  for  so  great  a  work! 
And  we  have  enemies  that  are  always  plotting  and 
labouring  for  our  destruction.  How/ diligent  is  Satan 
in  all  kind  of  temptations  !  Therefore  be  sober;  be 
vigilant ;  hectime  your  adversary  the  devil,  as  a  roam- 
ing lion  watkeih  about,  seeking  vBhofn  he  may  devour. 
Whom  resist,  sfedfast  in  the  faith  *  How  diligent 
are  all  this  ministers  of  Satan  !  Fabe-teatihers,  scoffers, 
persecutors,  and  our  inbred  corruptions,  the  most 
busy  and  diligent  of  all!  Will  a  feeble  resistance 
serve  our  turn  ?  Should  not  we  be  more  active 
for  our  own  preservation,  than  our  enemies  ate  for 
our  ruin  ? 

§  11.  It  should  excite  us  to  diligence,  when  we 
consider  our  talents,  and  our  mercies,  our  relation 
to  God,  and  the  afflictions  he  lays  upon  us.  TJie 
talents  which  we  have  received  are  many  and  great. 
What  people  breathing  on  earth  have  had  plainer 
instructions,  or  more  forcible  persuasions,  or  more 
constant  adnionitions',  in  season  and  out, of  season? 
Sermons,  till  ^e  have  been  weary  of  them ;  and 
sabbaths,  till  we  profaned  them;  excellent  books  in 
*  1  Pet.  V.  8,  c>, 

SEEKING   THE    SAIJJTS^   EEST;    '  '125 

such  jjlfenty  that  we  knew  not  which  fo  read.  What 
people  have  had' Gbd  80  near  them?  or  have  seen  so 
much  of  Christ  crujtiifiecl  before  their  eyes?  or  have 
had  heaven  arid  hell  so  ^op^n  unto  them  ?  What  speed 
should  such  a  people  make  for'heaven  !  How  should 
they  fly  that  are  thus  winged !  And  how  swiftly 
should  they  sail  that  have  wind  and  tide  to  help  them! 
A  small  measure  of  grace  beseems  not  such  a  people, 
not  will  an  ordinary  diligence  in  the  work  of  God 
excuse  them. — All  pur  lives  have  been  filled' with 
mercies.  God  hath  mercifully  poured  out  upon  us 
the  riches  of  sea  and  land^  of  heaven  and  earth. 
We  are  fed  and'  clothed  with  mercy,  We  have 
mercies  within  and  without.  To  number  them,  is 
to  count  the  stars  or  the  sands  of  the  sea-shore.  If 
there  bie  any  difference, betwixt  hell  and  earth,  y«a,, 
or  heaven  and  earth,  then  certainly  we  have  received 
mercy;  If  the  blood  of  the  Son  of  God  be  mefcy, 
then  we  are  engaged  to  God  by  mercy.  Shall  God 
think  nothing  too  much,  nor  too  good  for  us ;  and 
shall  we  think  all  too  much  that  we  do  for  hini? 
'When  I  compare  my  slow  and  unprofitable  life,  with 
the  frequent  afid  wonderful  mercres  received,  it 
shames  me, it  silences  me,  and leavesme inexcusable. 
Besides  our  talents  and  mercies;  our  relations  to  God, 
are:  most  endearing.  Are  we  his  children,  and  do  we 
not  owe  him  our  most  tendfer  affections,  and  dutiful 
obedience?  Are  we  thespouse  of  Christ,  and  should 
we  hot  obey  and  love  him  ?  If  he  be  a  Father,  where 
is  his  honour  ?  and  if  he -be  a  masier,  where  f  is  his 
fear  ?*  We  call  him  Master,  and  Lord^  and  we  say 
well.^  .  But  if  our  industry  be  not  answerable  to  our 
relations,  we  condemn  ourselves  in  saying  we  are 
his  children  or  his  servants.  How  will  the  hard 
*  Mai.  i.  6.  t'John  xiii.  13. 

gvrely   tliere  is  no  iBss^jefyJike  >ljijaj  j.npr  Qajj,  gpy 

9ffrvai)tts.-r,7v^e<ili  if  we  yim^r  qhV  Qf  Gqd'p  way,  ^f 
l&jter  in  it,  hQW  is  evpry  qij^mr?  <rqMjf  tp  b?  his 
TO€|i  to  yeditce,  us,  or  put  «§  (^5!  Qgp.weeJieAt 
la«pci©B  iwill  beiisome  qhf  soiPiiftw*,  ,R.f^(Ji^  tl>R5,w?i>|; 
&  rod,  the  I.iCffd:  will  p^l^e  ps,3.,s?Qiiige,i;Qp|UP^lK^i 
our  di:3eijsed  bo^i^is  ^feiflH  nfiftkews  grasn;  pur  p^r 
jfiJesed  minds  sb^Wm^ke  u^  re?,t}e«si  qw  ipoos^ieaep 
fhaH  be  as  a  sqerpioD  iq  ogr  bosprn,  ,  ^Qd  ia  itn/Qt 
easier  to  endure  the  laboHf  i,hm  the  ^uf  ?  •  JJ^d  i!?e 
rather  be  *tiU  afflicted,  t^ao  he  up  and  dpiijg?  Ao^ 
tfe^ugh  they  itfa?i>t  do  most,  me^t  als©  with  afflictioni*; 
yet  sufely  thejr  pe^«  pf  epjwsj^ipoe, 
And  faithfulness  tQ  Cbmt,  the  bitteme^  of  thw 
cup  is  abated. 

\  la.  To  quicken  ow  diligieflPe  in  our  wor|i,  wp 
«hpUld  alsp  cQafei4e»,  what  assistances,  we  have,  wbst 
[piinciples  we  profess,  ^ttd  our  certainty  that  we  pwi 
eewer  do  tpo  muflb-^-FoT  pl^rssgisi^ncem  thef^pivffip 
,©f  God,  siJJ  the  wMwW  are.  «uf  a^rvsft^,  Tb«  shr, 
jnooB,  and  stws,  anen^,  us  with  ttbeir  ,ligb,t  an4  ift- 
fluence.  The  ^mh,  wjtfe  all  itsfn^nUnre  (^.gj£«^& 
and  flowers,  fruits,  bifdfe»^pds  fcea»?Ri  <b^  se^v  with< 
its  inhabitants;  the  ajr,  the  wiftdi  the  iff ost  ^ -^qw, 
-the  Ifieat  and  fire,  Jhe  cloqds  and  Tajja,  all  wait  upPP 
us  whiie  we  do  our  wprk.  Ye?^,  <Ae  «[«^«&  ar^^ 
our  wim^ef^iig^  spirits,*  Jfay,  piOfe,  the  pati^pp 
of  God  doith  wait  upon  us;  tihp  l-iOf^  Jesus  ChfM^ 
waitetb,  in  ,the  pflTers  pf  bjs  blppdl  the  Holy  §pi?it 
oiv«iteth  ,  by  striving  with  pu?  backward,  hearts; 
*  Heb.  i,  14. . 

AIBKtSre  tHB    SAINTS^   REST.    J  1^1 

besides  the  ministers  of  the  gospel,  whofetudjf  «nd 
wait,  preach  and  wait,  pray  and  wait,  upon  careteM 
sinners.  And  is  it  not  an  intolerable  critne  for  m 
to  trifle,  whfilfefaogeU  and  men ;  jrea^  the  Ltwd  him- 
self, stand  j^,  afld'tookoo,  andj  a&  it  were,  hold, 
us  the  candle  while  we  do  nothing?  I  beseetjh  you, 
Chi!istians^  whenue^^r  you  are  praying,  or  reproving 
tramsgresSpr*,  or  ii^on  any  duty,  remember  what 
Assistance  you  h^ve  for  your  wurk,  and  th«n^:ud^ 
bow  you  oMgltt  topenfofm  it.— The  principles  we 
firofess,  are,  th*t  G©3  is  the  chief  good;  that  all 
our  happiness  consists  in  hit  16v«,  and  therefore  it 
should  be  valqed  and  sottghf  above  dl  things;  that 
hfe  is  our  only  Ijird,  aud  tbereforie  ehiefly  to  be 
served}  trhat  we  must  love^him  with  all< our  heart, 
and  soul)  and  streagtlii  that  our  great'' business  ia 
the  world  is  to  glorify  <jfO<d,  and  obtaift  salvatioo. 
Are  thcae  doctrines  seen  in  out  practice?  qr,  rather 
do.  not  <our  works  deny  what  our  words  confess  ?-» 
But  boweviir  our  assistantjed  and  princi^es- excite 
us  to  out"  'Workv  We  are  sure  we  can  never  do  too 
atuchii  Coiild  We'.tfci  M,  we  are  vnn^f-c^alde  sefh* 
vants;*  tnuich  more  when  We  are  sure  to  fail  in  alh 
No  Oian  can  obeyv  or  serve  God  too  much.  'Though- 
all  superstition,  or  service  of  our  own  devising,  may 
be  called  a  hmtgfrigMeous  OveT'Trmchi  yet  as  long' 
as  We  keep  to  the  rule  of  the  word,  we  can  never 
be  tightdolis  too  much.'  The^  world  is  mad  with 
malice,,  when  thby  think,  that  faithful  diligence  in 
the  service  of  Christ  is  foolish  singukrity*  The  time 
is  {lear  when  they  will  easily  confess^  that  God  Could 
not  be  lovedj  or  served  too  much,  and  that  no  man 
can  be  too  busy  to  save  his  soul.  We  may  easily 
do  too  toiuehfor  the  world,  but  we  caAnotfor  God. 

*  Luke  xviik  10. 


f  (^  13.     Let  US  further  consider,  that  it  is  the  na- 
ture of  every  grace  to  promote  diligence,,  that  trifling 
in  the    way   to  heaven,  is  tost  labouir,  that  much 
precious  tSme  is  already  mispent,  and  that  in  pro- 
portion to  our  labour  will  be  our  recompense. — See 
the   nature  and    tendency  of  every  grace.     If  yotf 
loved  God,:  you  would  think*  nothing  too  much^that 
yon  could   possibly  doto^^  serve  him,  and  please  him 
still  more.     Love  is  quick  and  impatient,  active  and 
observant. ~   If-  you  love  Christ,  you   would,  keep 
bis  commandjiients,  not  accuse  them;of  too  mucb^ 
strictness;     If  you  had  faith,  it  .wou|d  quicken  and 
encourage  you.    If  you  had  the  hope  of  glory,  it 
would,  as  the  spring  in  the  watch,  set  all  the  wheels 
of  your,  souls  a-going. ,  It  you  had  the  fear  of  God, 
it  would  rouse  you  out  of  yjour  slothfulness.'  If  you 
had   zeal,  it  would  inflame,  and  eat. you  up.     In 
what  degree  soever  thou  art  sanctified,  in  the  same 
degree  thou  wilt  be  serious  and  laborious  in  the  work 
of  God;-^Buti  thfey   that  trifle,  lose  their  labour. 
Many,  who  like  Agrippa,  are  but  almost.  Christians, 
will  find  in  the  end,  they  shall  be  but  almost  saved. 
If  two  be,  running  in  a  race,  he  that.'runs  slowest 
loses  both  prize  and  labour.     A  man  that  is  lifting 
a  weight,  if  he  put  not  sufficient  strength  to  it,  had 
as  good  put  none  at  all.    How- many  duties  havei 
Christians  lost,  for  want  of  doing  them' thoroughly? 
Many  xvill  seek  to  enter  in,  and  shall  not  he  able;*- 
who,  if  they   had   striven,  might  have,  been  able.' 
Therefore,  put  to  a  little  more  diligence  and  strength 
that  all  you  have  done  already   be  not  in  vain. — 
Besides,  is  not   much  precious  time  already  lost? 
With  some  of  us  childhood  and  youth  are  gone! 
vvith  sonfie^  their   middle  age  also;  and  the  time 
*  Luke  xiii.  St4. 

SEEKIlifti   THE    saints'   REST.  139 

before  us  is  very  uncertain.  What  time  have  we 
slept,  talked,  and  played  away,  or  spent  in  worldly 
thoughts  and  cares?-  H6w  little  of  our  work  is  donfe! 
The  time  we  have  lost  cannot  be  recalled;  should 
we  not-  then  redeem  and  improve  the  little  which 
remains  ?  If  a  traveller  sleep,  or  trifle  'most  of  the 
day,  he  must'  travd  so  much  faster  in  'the  evening, 
or  fall  short  of  his  journey's  end.— Doubt  •  not  but 
the  recompense  will  be  according  to  your,  labour. 
The  seed  which  is  bdried  and  dead,  will  bring  forth 
a  plentiful  harvest.  Whatever  you  do,  or  suffer, 
everlasting  rest  will  pay  for  all.  There  is  no  repent- 
ing of4abours  or  sufferings  in  heaven.  There  is  not 
one  says,  "  Would  I  had  spared  my  pains,  and  prayed 
less,  or  been  less  strict,  and  done  as  the  r^stof  my 
neighbours;  On  the  contrary,  it  will  be  their  joy 
to  look  back  upon  their  labours  and  tribulations, 
and  to  consider  bow  the  mighty  power  of  God 
brought  them  thfQugh  all-  We  iqay  all  say,  as  Paul, 
1.  reckon  that  the  sifferings,  and  labours  of  this  pre- 
sent, time,  are  not  worthy  to  he  compared  with  the 
ghry  which  shall  he  revealed  in  us.*  We  labour  but 
for  a  moment,  but  we  shall  rest  for  eyer.  Who 
would  not  put  fdrth  all  his  strength  for  one  hour, 
when  for  that  hour's  work  he  may  be"  a  prince  while 
he  lives  ?  God  is  not  tmrighteous,  to  forget  our  work' 
and  labour,  oflove.'f  ,  Will  not  all  our  tears  he  wiped 
away,  and  all  the  sorrow  of  our  duties  be  then  for- 
gotten ? 

'<^  14.  Nor  does  it  less  deserve  to  be  considered, 
that  striving  is  the  divinely  appointed  way  ofsalva^ 
tion,  that  all  men  either  do  or  will  approve  it,  that  the 
best  Christians  at  death  lament  tbeirnegligence,  and 
that  heaven  itself  is  often  lost  for  want  of  striving,  but 

*  Horn.  Viii.  J  8.  "f  Heb.  vi.  10. 



is  never  had  on  easier 'terms.— The  sovereiga  wi^om' 
of  God  has  made  striving  necessary  to  salvatioq. 
Who  knoT^s  the  way  to  lieavedi  better  than  the  God 
(if  heaven  ?  Wteen  men  tdl  tis  we  are  too  strict,  whom 
d©  drey  acopse,  God  or  us?  If  it  were  &  fault,  it 
vmuM  lie  in  hitn  that  coaMttaflds,'and  not  m  us  who 
obey.    These  iare  the  men  that  'ask  us,  whether  wfc 

"are  wBser  than  aU  the  worid  besides?'  and  yet  (they" 
will  ^fretraidto  be  wiser  th^n  God.    How  can 'they 
reooQcile  the^jlangiaagie  with  the  laws' ©f  God  ?    The 
Ungdmn  of  <heamn- svffer^h  violence,  and  the  mident 

MJee  wt  by  Jbrce.*  Strimito  enter  in  at  the  strait 
gate ;  f}r_  many  mil  seek  h  enter  in,  mtd^hall  not  be 
«Me,"|-  iWhe^oeeepiMoff  hmtd'findethto  do,  wiih 
thy  nAgM^  far  theite  is  no  work,  nor  •deviaei  ^or 
hmwivA^,  nor  wisdom  in  the  grave^  whither  l^twe 
goest^X.  '■  J^'ork  out  yemt  own  sedviition  with  Jim-  and 
trembling.^  Give  ^Usenos  to  make  ymt/r  vuIUh^ 
and  eleotit^supe.\\  if  the  righteous  scarcely  behaved, 
whdre  shaU  ^  un^dly  and  the  sinner  aj^ea^.^  Let 
tbem  br^ng  all  ttve  seeming  reasons  they  can,  against 
the  holy  violence'  of  elsee  ^saints  ;  this  sufficeth  me  to 
ocmi&ite  them  all,  that  <God  is  <>f  another  mind,  and 
h<e4aath 'Commanded  me  Do  do  much  more  than  I  do ; 
awd  tiiwwgih  i  eould  see  no  ©tfeer  reason  for  it,  his  will 
is  rea9©n  enough.  Wh®  should  wiake  laws  *)r  us, 
but  he  that  «iade  us  ?  And  who  should  poin^  out 
the  way  to  heaven,  but  "he  that  must  ilaring  us  thither? 
And  who  should  fix  the  terms  of  salvation,  but  he 
that  bestows  the  gift;  erf  isalvatioh  ?  So  that  let  the 
world,  the  ^esh,  or  the  4efil,  speaik  against  a  holy 
kborioiias  Jife,  this  is  my  answer,  God  hath  com- 

■  manded  it. — Nay,  jthere  neVer  was;  or  ever  ^ill  he, 

*Matt.xi.  12.     '  t  LuTce  xiii.  (24.      ^  Eccles,  is.  10. 
S  Phil.  ii.  12.    ,     fl  B  Peterj.  10.        "If  l  i^ter  iv.  18. 



a  man,  bolt  will  approve  svich  a  life,  aotl  will  one  day 
jostify  the  diligefice  of  the  saints.. '  And  who  wtduld 
not  go  that  way,  which  ©very  man  shaft  fifiaHy 
applaud!  True,  it  is  now  a  wm^  evenf^tukGte  s^hm 
against.  Bat  let  me  teU  you,  most  that  speak  agatnill 
it,  in  their  judgments  approve  of  it;  and  those  that 
are  now  -against  it,  will  shortly  be  of  another  loind!. 
If  they  come  to  heaven,  their  mind  must  be  cbftaged 
before  they  come  there.  If  they  go  to  heU,  tfoeir 
judgment  will  then  be  altered,  whether:  they  will  or 
not.  Remember  this,'  you  that -love  the  opinion.and 
way  of  the  miultitud©,  why  then  will  you  not  be  of. 
the  opinion  that  all  will  be  of?  Why  will  you  b&firf a 
judgment,  which  you  are  sure  all  of  you  shortly  to 
change  ?  O'  that  you  were  but  as  wise  in  thia,  as 
those  in  hell ! — Even  the  best  of  Christians,  when 
they  come  to  die,  ekceedifigly  lament  their  negligence. 
They  then  wish;  "  O  that  I  bad  been  a  thbusand  tiiiaes 
more  boly,  more  heavenly,  more  laborious  for  ipaiy 
soul !  The  world  accuses  me  for  doing  too  iBiuch,but 
my  own  consoience  accuses  me  for  doing  too  little. 
It  19  far  easier  beacing  the  scoffs  of  the  world,  bbae 
'  the  lasihes  of  conscience.  I  had  rather  be  reproached 
by  the  devil  for  seeking  salvation,  than  reproved  of 
God  for  neglecting  it."  How  do  their  failings  thus 
wound  and  disquiet  them,  who  have  been  the  wonders 
of  the  world  fof  their  heavenly  conversation  1,  It  is 
for  want  of  napre  diligence,  that  heaven  it,self  is  often 
lost.  When  they  that  have  hewi'd  the.  Word,  and 
anon  with  joy  r^eiimd  it,  mr^  have  dftne,  m&ny  thingSi, 
and  hem^  the  ministers  of  Christ  gl&dly*  sh^iyet 
perish ;  shomld.  not  this  lou^;  us  out  of  qur  security  ? 
How  far  hiatb  many  a  man  followed  Christ,  and  yet 
f««SQok  him,  when  aU  worldly  interests  and  hopes 

*  Matt.  xiii.  %0,    M^'k  vi.  2Q. 


were  tp  be  renounced! — God  hath  resolved,;  that 
heaven  shall  not  be  had  on, easier  terms.  Rest  tniist' 
always  follow  labour.  Withmf  holiness,  no  man  shall 
see  the  Lord.*  Seriousness  is  the  very  thing  wherein 
consists  our  sincerity.  If  thou  art  not  serious,  thou 
art  not  a  Christian.  It  is  not  only  a  high  degree  in 
Christianity,  but  the  very  life  and  essence  of  it.-  As 
fencers  upOii  a  stage  differ  from  soldiers  fighting  for 
their  lives,  so  hypocrites'differ  from  serious  Christians. 
If  men  could  be  saved  without  this  serious  diligence, 
they  would  never  regard  it ;  all  the  excellencies  t)f 
God's  ways  would  never  entice  them.  But  when 
God  hath  resolved,  that,  without  serious  diligence 
here,  you  shall  not  rest  hereafter,  is  it  not  wisdom  to 
exert  ourselves  to  the  utmost }  • 

^15.  -But  to  persuade  thee,  if  possible.  Reader,  to 
be  serious  in  thy  endeavours  for  heaven,  let  me  add 
more  considerations.  As  for  instance,  consider,— 
God  is  in  earnest  with  you;  and  why  should  you  not 
be  so  with  him  ?  In  his  commands,  his  threatenings, 
his  promises,  he  means  as  he  speaks.  In  his  judg- 
ments he  is  serious.  Was  he  not  so,  when  he  drowned 
thewprld?  When  he  consumed  Sodom  dnd  Gomarrah9 
And  when  he  scattered  the  Jews  9  Is  it  time  then  to 
trifle  with  God  ?  Jesus  Christ  was  sprious  in  purchas- 
ing our  redemption.  In  teaching,  he  neglected  his 
meat  an4  drink  :  in  prayer,  he  continued  all  night :  in 
doing  good,  his  fripids  thought  him  beside  himself: 
in  suffering,  he  fasted  forty  days,  was  tempted, 
betrayed,  spit  upon,  buj^eted,  crowned  with  thorns, 
sweat  drops  of  blood,  was  crucified,  pierced,  died. 
There  was  no  jesting  in  all  this.  And  should  we 
not  be  serious  in  seeking  our  own  salvation  ? — The 
Holy  Spirit  is  serious  in  soliciting  us  to  be  happy, 

*  Heb.  xii.  14. 

SEEKING   THE   SAINTS*  REST.  '      133 

His  motions  are  frequent,  pressing,  and  importunate. 
He  strweth  with  us.  He  is  grieved,  when  we  resist 
him.  And  sfaoald  we  not,  be  serious  then  in  obeyifig^ 
and  yielding  to  his  motions?^ — God  is  serious  in 
hearing  our  prayers,  and  bestowing  his  mercies.  He 
is  (i^icted  with  us.  He  regardeth  every  groan  and 
sigh,  and  puts  every  tear  into  his  bottle.  Thfe  next 
time  thou  art  in  trouble,  thou,  wilt  b^g  for  a  serious 
regard  of  thy  prayers.  ,  And  shall  we  expect  real 
mercies,  when  we  are  slight  and  superficial  in  the 
Atork  of  God  ?  The  ministers  of  Christy  are  serious 
in  exhorting  and  instructing  you.  They  beg  of  God, 
and  of  you  ;  and  long  more  for  the  salvation  of  your 
souls,  than  for  any  worldlyvgood.  If  they  kill  them- 
selves with  their  lab(^ur,  or  suflfer  martyrdom  for 
preaching  the  gpspel,  they  think  their  lives  are  well 
bestowed,  so  that  they  prevail  for  the  saving  of  your 
souls. ,  And  shall  other,  men  be  so  painful  and  careful 
for  your  salvation,  and  you  be  so  careless  and  negli- 
gent of  your  own  ? — How  diligent  and  serious  are  all 
the  creatures  in  serving  yoa!  What  haste  makes  the 
sua  to  compass  the  world !  The  fountains  are  aVways 
flowing  for  thy  use;  the  rivers  still  running;  spring 
and  harvest  keep  their  times.  How  hard  does  thy  ox 
labour  for  thee  from  day  to  day  !  How  speedily  does 
thy  horse  travel  witli  thee !  And  shalt  thou  Only  be 
negligent?  Shall  all  these  be  so  serious  in  serving 
thee,  and  thou  so  careless  in  thy  service  to  God  ? — 
The  servants  of  the  world  and  the  devil  are  serious 
and  diligent:  they  work  as  if  they  could  never  do 
enough.:  they  make  haste,  as  if  afraid  of  coming  to 
hell  too  late:  they  bear  down  minister^,,  sermons, 
and  all  before  them.  And  shall  they  be  more  diligent 
for  damnation,,  than  thou  for  salvation  ?  Hast  thpu 
pot  9.  better  master,  sweeter  employment,  greater 


encpufagenieiits|\  and  a  better  reward  Y — Time  was 
when  th;ou  wast  serious  thyself  i.Q  serving  Satan  and 
the  flesh,  if  it  be  not  so  yet;  Hdw  -  eagerly  didst 
thou  follow  thy  spofts,  thy  evil  compaay,  and  sinful 
delights!  Aod  wilt  tbau  not  now  be  as  eara^t aoid 
violent  for  God?  You  are- to  this  day  in  earnest 
about  the  things  of  this  life.  =  If  you  are  sick,  or  in 
pain,  what  sejrious  compkjnts  do  yofUi  utter!  If  you 
are  poor,  bow  hard  da  you  labour  for  a.luy^Ubood! 
And  is  not  the  j)usiness  of  your  salvation  of  far  greater 
moment?  There  is  no  jestiiig  in  heaveq  or  bell.  Tbe 
saiats  have  a  real  happines^  and  tbe  damned  a  real 
misery.  There  are  no  remiss  or  skigipy  >praisea  in 
heaven,  nor  such  lamentations  in  bell.  Al^there  are 
in  earnest.  When  tbou,  Reader,  shalt  come  to  death 
and  jadgment,  O  what  deep,  beart-ptereiiQg  thoughts 
wilt  thou  have  of  eternity!  Methinks  I  foresee  thee 
already  astonished,  to  think  hqw  thou  couldst  possibly 
make  so  light  of  these  things.  Methinks  I  even  hear 
^bee  crying  out  of  thy  stupidity  and  madness. 

§  16.  And  now,  Reader,  having  laid  down  these 
jmdeniabte  arguments,  I  do,  in  the  name  of  Gq«4, 
demand  thy  resolution ;  wilt  thou  yield  obedieDfiej  ot 
pot  ?  I  am  confident  thy  conscience  is  coii»ineed  of 
thy  duty.  Darest  thou,  now  gOi  on  in  thy.  common 
qafeless  course,  against  the  plaig  evidence-Oif  reasoiD, 
and  coramands  of  God,  and  against  the  light  ©f  thy 
pwn  conscience  ?  barest  tbou  live  as  loosely,  sia  as 
boldly,  and  pray  as  seldom,  as  before?'  Darest  thou 
profane  the  sabbath,  slight  the  service,  erf  Go4  and 
think  of  thine  everlasting  state,  as  cateleS(Sly  as  befose? 
Or  dost  tbou  not  rather  resolve  to  gird.tip  the  him  of 
thy  mindj  and  set  thyself  wholly  to  the  work  ©f  thy 
galvation,  and  break  thrqugh  the  oppositions,,  and 
slight  the  scoff?  and  persecutions  of  the  world,  and  liof 

.  SEEKING  THE   SAINTs'   REST.  135 

aside  every  weight,  and  the  sin  which  doffi  so  «m1^ 
beset  thee,  and  run  with  patience  the  race  that  is  set 
hefiire  thee?    I  bope  these  are  thy  full  reisolutions. 
'Yet,  becau^  I  know  the  obstinacy  of  tbe  heart  of 
man,  and  becaxisel  am  solicitous  thy  soul  might  Uve, 
I  once  more  entreat  thy  attention  to  the  following 
qmestions;  andl^ootnEnand  thee  from  Grod,  that  thou 
stifle  not  thy  conscience,  nor  resist  conviction;  but 
answer  them  faithfully,  and  obey  accordingly.— If,  by 
beiii^  diligent  in  godliness,  you  could  grow  rich,  get 
homouror  preferment  in  the  world,  be  recovered  from 
sickness,  or  live  for  ever  in  prosperity  on  earth  ;  w.b»t 
lifYegwoald you  lead,  and  what  pains  would  you  take 
in  the  service  of  God?    And  is  not  the  saints'  rest 
a  more  exceUent  happiness  than  all  this  ? — If  it  were 
fetony  to  break  the  salbbatbi  neglect  secret  or  family- 
worship,  or  be  loose  in  your  lives,  what  manner  of 
persons  would  you  then  be?     And  is  not  etefnal 
deaith  more  terrible  than  temporal  ? — If  God  usually 
punished  with  some  present  judgment  every  act  of 
^,  as  -he  did  the  lie  of  Ananias  and  Sapphira,  what, 
kiirad  of  lives  would  ywulead?    And  is  not  eternal 
wrath  fer  more  terrible  ? If  one  of  your  acquain- 
tance sho'uld -come  from  the  dead,  and  tell  you,  that 
he  suffered  the  torments  of  hell  for  those  sins  you 
are  guilty  of ;  'what  manmer  of  persons  would  you  be 
afterwards?    How  much  more  should  the  warnings 
of  G<od: 'affright' you? — If  you' knew  that  this  were 
the  last  day  you  hadto  live  in  the  world,  how  would 
you     And  you  know  not  but  it  may  be 
your  last,  ^nd  are  sure  your  last  is  near. — If  you  had 
seen  the  general  dissolution  of  the  world,  and  all  the 
,  pomp  and  glory  of  it  corisutned  to  ashes,  whatwould 
such  a  «^ht  persuade,  tbee  to  /do  ?    Such  a  sight  you 
sbaH  oertaiiily  see. — If  you  had  seem  the '<j4idgmeoi- 


seat,  and  the  books  opened,  and  the  wicked  stand 
trembling  on  the  left-hand  of  the  Judge,  and  the 
godly  rejoicing  on  th«e  right-hand,  and  their  different 
sentences  pronounced ;  what  persons  would  you  have 
been  after  such  a  sight?    This  sight  you.  shall  one 
day  surely  see. — If  you  had  seen  hell  open,  and  all 
the  damned'  there  in  their  easeless '  torments ;  also 
'  heaven  openied,  as  Stephen  did,  and  all  the  saints 
there  triumphing  ia  glory;  what  a  life  would  you 
lead  after  such  sights!    These  you  will  see  before  it 
be  long. — If  you  had  laid  in  hell  but  one  year,  or  one 
day,  or  hour,  and  there  felt  the  torments  you  now 
hear  of;  how  seriously  would  you  then  speak  of  hell, 
and  pray  against  it !    And  will  you  not  take  God's 
word  for  the  truth  of  this,  except  you  feel  it?,— Or  if 
you  had  possessed  the  glory  of  heaven  but  one  year ; 
what  pains  would  you  take  rather  than  be  deprived- of 
such  incomparable  glory. — Thus  I  have  said  enough, 
if  not  to  stir  up  the  sinner  to  a  serious  working  out 
his  salvation,  yet  at  least  to  silence  hini,  and  leave 
him  inexcusable  at  the  judgment  of  God.     Only  as 
we  do  by  our. friends  when  they  are  dead|  and  x)ur 
words  and  actions  pan  do  them  no  gofod,  yet  to  testify 
our  affection  for  them  we  weep  and  mourn;  sp  will 
I  also  do  for  these  unhappy' souls.    It niakes  my 
heart  tremble,  to  think  how  they  will  stand  before 
the  L6rd,  confounded  atid  speeghless  !.  When  he  shall 
say,  "  Was  the  world,  or  Satan,  a  better  friend  to  you 
than  I  ?    Or  had  they  done  for  you  more  than  I  had 
done?     Try  now 'whether  they  will  save  you,  or 
recompense  you'  for  the  loss  of  heaven,  or  be  as 
good  to  you  as  I  would  have  been."    What  will  the 
wretched  sinner  answer  to  any  of  this?    But  thpugh  - 
man  will   not  hear,  we  may   hope  in  speaking  to 
God.    "  O  thoii  that  didst  weep  and  groan  in  spirit 

SEEKING  THE    saints'   ftEST.  137 

over  a  dead  Lazarus,  pity  these  dead  and  senseless 
souls,  till  they  are  able  to  weep  and  groan  in  pity  to 
themselves  ?  •  As  thou  hast  bid  thy  servants  speak,  so 
speak  now  thyself!  they  ivill  hear  thy  voice  speaking , 
to  their  hearts,  who  will  not  hear  mine  speaking  to 
tjieir'ears.  Lord,  thou  hast  long  knotked  at  these 
hearts  in  vain  ;  now  break  the  doors,  and  enter  in  !" 
^  17.  Yet  to  show  the  godly  why  they,  above  all 
men,  should  be  laborious  for  heaven,  I  desire  to  ask 
them,  What  manner  of  persorrs  should  those  be, 
whom  God  hath  chosen  to  be  vessels  of  mercy  ?  Who 
have  felt  th^  smart  of  their  negligence  in  their  new- 
birth,  in  their  troubles  of  conscience,  in  their  doubts 
and  fears,  and  in  other  sharp  afflictions  ?  Who  have 
often  confessed  their  sins  of  negligence'  to  God  in 
prayer  ?  who  have  bound  themselves  to  Q66  by  so 
many  covenants  ?  What  manner  of  persons  should 
they  be,  who  are  near  to  God,  as  the  children  of  his 
family?  -who  have  tasted  such  sweetness  iti' diligent 
obedience?  who  are  many  of  them  so  uncertain 
what  shalleverlastingly  become  of  their  souls  ?  What 
manner  of  persons  should  they  be  in  holiness,  whose 
sanctification  is  so  imperfect?  whose  lives  and  duties 
are  so  important  to  the  saving  or  destroying  a  multi- 
tude of  souls?  and  on  whom  the  glory  of  the  great 
God  so  much  depends?— — Since  these  things  are 
so,  I  charge  thee.  Christian,  in  thy  Master's  name, 
toconsiderj  and  resolve  the  question,  What  manner 
dfpersoMs  ought  we  to  be  in  all  holy  conversation  and 
godiintss?  And  let  thy  life  answer  the  question  as 
well  as  thy  tongue. 


c^AP.  vlii.     ,  ; 

How  do  discern  ohiir^  Titl?  to  the  Saintd  Rest: 

'''-■'['        I  ■         '  '  ■  -     , ■        i '         ' 

§  1.  The  folly  of  men  in  notinquinng  after  a  title  to  the  saints* 
rest ;  §  2.  and  their  cause  fw  terror,  as  long  as  they  are  destitute  ■ 
of  a  title.  §  3.  Self-examination  is  urged  upon  them;  §  4,  (I.) 
from  the  possibility  of  arriving  at  a  certainty;  §  5-^9.  (2.)  from. 
the  hinderances  which  will  be  thrown  in  our  wiy  by  Satan,  sin- 
ners, our  own  hearts,  and  many  other  causes ;  §  10  (3.^  from  con- 
sidering how, easy,  common,  aiid  dangerous  it  is  to  be  fnisfeiken; 
that  trying  will  not  be. so  painful  as  the  neglect;  that  God  will 
Soon  try  us,  and  that  to  try  ourselves  will  be  profitable  :  §  II. 
and  therefore' the  reader  is  e'ntreafied  lio  longer  to  delay  the  trial. 
§12.  Then  (4.)  Directions  are  given  how  to  try ;  §  J3.  (g.) 
Marks  for  trial  are  added,  particularly,  §  14.  Do  we  make  God 
ou^chie/ good  ?  §  I'd.  Do  we  heartily  accept  of  Christ  fpr  our 
LoraHand  Saviour  ?'  §  l6,  17.  The  chapter  concludes  with  illusr 
trating  the  great  importance  of  these  two  marks.  '' 

.  1^  1.  Is  there  such  a  glorious  rest  so  near  at  hand? 
And  shall  node  enjoy  it  but  the  people  of  God? 
-What  mean  most  of  the  world  then,  to  live  so  con- 
tentedly without  assurance  of  theif  interests  in  this 
rest,.and  neglect  the  trying  of  their  title  to  it?  When 
the  Lord  has  so  fully  opened  the  blessedness  of  that 
kingdom,  which  none  but  obedient  believers  shall 
possess;  and  so  fully  e^pKessed .those  torments,  which 
the  rest  of  the  world  must  eternally  suffer;  methink's 
they  that  believe  this,  to  be  certainly,  true,  should 
never  be  at  any  quiet  in  themselves,  till  they  were 
fully  assumed  of  their  being  heirs  of  the -kingdom. 
Lord,  what  a  strange  madness  is  this,  that  men,  who 
know  they  must  presently  enter  upon.unchangealale 
joy  or  pain,  should  yet  live  as  uncertain  what  shall 
be  their  doom,  as  if  they  had  never  heard  qf  any 
such  state;  yea,  and  live  as  quietly  and  merrily  in 
this  qncertainty,  as  if  all  were  made  sure,  and  there 

TO   THE    saints'   REST,-  139 

were  no  danger!  Are  these  men  aJive  or  dead? 
Are  they  awake  6r  asleeji  ?  What  do  they,  think 
on?  Where  are  their  hearts?  If  they  have  hut  a 
weighty  suit  at  law,  how  careful  are  they  to  know 
whether  it  will  go  for  or  against  them?.  If  they 
were  to  be  tried  for  their  lives  at  an  earthly  bar, 
how  careful  would  they. be < to  know  whether  they 
should  be  saved  or !  condemned,  especially  if  their 
cate  might  surely  save  them !  If  they  be  danger- 
ously sick,  they  will  inquire  of  the  physician.  What 
think  you.  Sir,  shall  lescape,  or  not?  But  ih,the 
business  of  their  salvation,  they  are  content  to  be 
uncertain.  If  you  ask  most  men  a^reason  of  the 
hope  that  is  in  them,  they  will  say,  "  Because  God 
i&  merciful,  and  Christ  died  for  sinners,'^  and  the 
like  general  reasons,  which  any  man  in  the  world 
may  give  as' well  as  they:  but  put  them  to  prove 
their  interest  in  Christ,  and  in  the  saving  mercy  of 
God,  and  they  can  'Say  nothing  to  the  purpose.  •  If 
God  or  man  should  say  to  them,  what  case  is  thy 
soul  in,  man?  Is  it  regenerate,  sanctified,  and 
pardoned,  or  not?  He  would  say,  as  Cain  of  Abel, 
"  /know  not;  am  I  my  soul's  heeler  9  I  hope  well, 
I  trust  God  with  my  soul ;  I  shall  speed  as  well 
as  other  men  do ;  I  thank  God,  'I  never  made  any 
doubt  of  my  salvation."  Thou  hast  cause  to  doubt, 
because  thou  never  didst  doubt ;  and  yet  dipre,  be- 
cause thou  hast  been  so  careless  in  thy  confidence. 
What  do  thy  expressions  discover,  but  a  wilful 
neglect  of  thy  own  salvation  }  As  a  shipniaster  that 
should  let  his  vessel  alone,  and  say,  "  I  wiJl  venture 
it  among  the  rocks,* and  waves,  and  winds;  I  will 
trust  God  with  it;  it  will  speed  as  well  as  other 
vessels."  What  horrible  abuse  of  God  is  this,  to 
pretend  to  trust  God,  to  cloak  their  own  negligence ! 


If  thoti  didst  really  trust  God,  thou  wouldst  also  be 
ruled  by. him,  and  trust  him  in  his  own  appointed 
way.  He  requires  thee  to  give  diligence'  to  mak^ 
t^  calling  and  election  sure  *  and  so  trust- him.  _He 
hath  marked  thee  out  a  way  in  scripture,  by  which 
thou  art  charged  to  search-  and  try'  thyself,  and 
may  est  arrive  at  certainty.  Were  he  not  a  foolish 
traveller,  that  would  hold  on  his  way,  when-  he  does  , 
not  know  whether  he  be  right  of  wrong;  and  say 
"  I  hope  I  am  right ;  I  will  go  on,  and  trust  in  God  ?" 
Art  thou  not  guilty  of  this  folly  in  thy  travels  to 
eternity?  Not  considering  tbat  a  little  serious  in- 
quiry, whether  thy  way  be  right,  might  save  thee 
a  great  deal  of  labour,  which  thou  bestbwest  in  vaiuj 
and  must  undo  tigain,  or  else  thou  wilt  miss  of  sal- 
vation, and  undo  thyself.,      - 

^  2.  How  canst  thou  think  or  speak  of  the  great 
God  without  terrop,  as  long  as  thou  art  uncertain 
whether  he  be  thy  father,  or  thy  enemy,  and  know-  • 
est  not  but  all  his  perfections  may  be  employed 
against  thee?  Orof  Jesus  Christ,  when,  thou  knowest 
not  whether  his  blood  hath  purged  thy  soul ;  whether 
he  will  condemn  or  acquit  .thee  in  judgment ;  or 
whether  he  be  the  foundatioti  of  thy  happhness,  or 
a  stone  of  sturttbling  to  break  thee,  zixA  grind  thee 
to  powder?  How  canst  thou  open  the  Bible,  and 
read  a  chapter,  but  it  should  terrify  thee  ?  Methinks 
every  leaf  should  be  to 'thee  'as  Belsbazzar's  writing 
on  the  wall,  except  only  that  which  draws  thee  to 
try  and  reform.  If  thou  readest  the  promises,  thou 
knowest  not  whether  they  shall  be  fulfilled  to-thee. 
Ifthoa  readest  the  threateniogs,  for-any  thing  thou 
knowest,  thdu  readest  thy  own  sentence.  No  wonder 
thou  art  an  enemy  to  plain  preaching,  and  say  of 
*  3  Peter,  i.  10. 

TO   THE  SAINTS*  REST.  '  141 

the  minister,  as  Abab  of  the  prophet,  I  hate  him,  for 
he  doth  not  prophesy  good  concerning  me,  but  evil. 
How  canst  thou  without  terror  join  inpra'yef?  "When 
thou  receivest    the   sacrament,    thou  knowest  not 
whether  it  be  thy  bajle  or  bliss.    What  comfort  canst 
thou  find  in  thy  friends,  and  honours,  and  houses, 
and  lands,  till  thou  knowest  thou  hast  the  love  of 
God  with  th^m,  and  shalt  have  rest  with  him  when 
thou  leavest  them?  Oflfief  a  prisoner,  before  he  knows 
his  sentence,  either  niusic,  or  clothes,  or  preferment; 
what  are  they  to  him,  till  he  knows  he  shall  escape 
with  his  life  ?  for  if  he  knows  he  must  die  the  next 
day,  it  will  be  small  comfort  to  die  rich  or  honour- 
able.    Methinks  it  should  be  so  with  thee^  till  thou 
knowest  thy  eternal  state.     When  thou  liest  down 
to  take  thy  rest,  methinks  the  uncertainty  of  thy 
salvation   should  keep  thee  waking,  or  amaze  thee 
in  thy  dreams,  and  trouble  thy  sleep.    Doth  it  not. 
grieve  thee  to  see  the  people  of  God  so  comfortable 
in  their  way  to  glory,  when  thou  hast  no  good  hope 
of  ever  enjoying  it  thyself?     How  canst  thou  think 
of  thy  dying  hour  ?    Thoii  knowest  it  is-near,  and 
there'is  no  avoiding  it,  nor  any  medicine  found  out 
that  can  prevent  it.     If  thou  shouldst  die  this  day, 
(and  Vfho  knows  what  a  day  may  bring  forthP)  thou' 
art  not  certain  whether-  thou  shalt  go  to  heaven  or 
hell.    And  canst  thou  be  merry,  till  thou  art  got 
out  of  this  datfgerQus  state?    What  sliift  dost  thou 
make  to  preserve  thy  heart  from  horror,  when  thou 
rememberest-  the  great  judgment-day,  and  everlastiiig 
flames  ?     When  thou  hearest  of  it,  dost  thou  not 
tremble,  as  telix?    if  the  Jteepers  shook,  and  became 
as  dead  men,  when  they  saw  the  angel  come  and  roll 
hack  the  stone  from  Christ's  sepulchre,  how  canst 
thou  think  of  living  in  hell  with  devil^  till  thou 

,142  HOW   TO   DISCERN    OUR   TITLE 

hast  got  some  well-grounded  assurance  that  thou 
shall  escape  it  ?  Thy  bed  is  very  soft,  or  thy  heart 
is  very  thard,  if  thou  canst  sleep  soubdly  in  this  un- 
eeftain  case.' 

§  3.  -If  thistgeneraluncertainty  of  the  world  about, 
their  salvation  were  reoiediless,  then  must  it  be 
borne  as  other  unavoidable  miseries.  But,  alas!  the 
coinmon  cause  is  wilful  negligence.  Men  will  not 
be  persuaded  to.  use  th^  remedy.  The  great  means 
to  conquer  this  uncertainty,  is,  self>^xamination,  or 
the  seridus  and  diJigenti  trying, oif  a  man'^s  heart  and 
,  state  by  tne  rule  of  scripture.  Either  men  under- 
stand not  the  nature  and  use  of  this  duty,  or  else 
they  will  nqt  be  at  the  pains  to  try.  Qo  through  a 
congregation  of  a  thousand  men,  and  how  few  of 
them  shall  you  meet  with,  that  ever  bestowed  one 
hour  in  all  their  lives,  in  a  close  examination,  of 
their  title  :to  heaven  I  Ask  thy  own  conscience, 
Reader,  when  was  the  time,  an4.wh$re  was  the  place 
that  ever  thou  solemnly  tookest  thy  heart  to  task, 
as  in  the  sight  of  God,  and  didst  examine  it  by 
scripture,  whether  it  be  renevi^ed  or  nbt?  whether 
it  be  holy  or  tjot?  whether  it  be  set  most  on  God 
or  the  creatures,  on  heaven  or  earth?  And  when 
.  didst  thou  fellowpn  this  examination  tilt  thou  hadst 
discovered  thy  condition,  and  passed  ^ehtenc^  on 
thyself  accordingly  ?  But  because^  this  is  a  work  of 
po  high  importance,  and  so  commonly  neglecte^l,  I 
will  "therefore  show, — that  it  is  possible.,  by  trying 
to  come  to  a  certainty  ;-r-what  hinders'  men  from 
.trying  and  knowing  their  state  ;-r^then  <y|Fer  motives 
to  exaiSniae; — and  directions;T— together  with  some 
marks  out  of  scripture,  by  which  you  may  try,  and 
certainly  know,  whether  you  are  the  people  of  :God 
pr  Jiot. 

XO   THE    SAINJE^a  V  REST*  143 

.  V^'  CO'  Scripture  shows,  that  the  certainty  of  sal- 
vation may  be  attained,  and  ought  to  be  laboured  for, 
when  it  tell&  us  so  frequently,  that  the  saints  before 
us  have  known  their  justification  and  future  salva- 
tion :  when  it  declares,  .that  whdso&Det  believeth  in 
Christ,  shall  not  perish^  but  have  everlasting  life ; 
which  it  woulia  be  in  vain  to  declare, , if  we  canpot 
know  ourselves  to  be  believers  or  not:.  When  it  makes 
such  a  wide  difference  between  the  children  of  God, 
and  the  childrfen  of  the  devil :  when  it  bids  ua  give 
diligence  to  make  our  calling  and  election  sure ;  and 
earnestly  urges  us  to  examine,  prove,  know  our  own- 
selveSfiekether  we  he  in  the  faith,  and  whether  Jes^^r 
Christ  be  in  us,  except  we  be  reprobates  :  also  when 
its  preeepts  require  us  to  rejoice  always,  to  call  God 
our  Father,  to  live  in  his  praises,  to  lave  Chri^fs 
appearing,  to  wish  that  he  may  come  qmckltf,  and 
to  comfort  ourselves  with  the  mention  of  it.  But  who 
can  do  any  of  these  heartily,  that  is  not  in  some 
measure  sure  that  he  is  the  child  of  God? 

^  5.  (2.;)  ,  Among  the  many  hinjleranqes  which 
keep  men  from  self-examination,  we  cannot  doubt 
but  Satan  will  do  his  part.  If  all  the  power  he  bath, 
or  all  the  means  and  instruments  he  can  employ,  can 
do  it,  he  win  be  sure  above  all  duties  to  keep  you 
from  this;  tHe  is  loath  the  godly  should  have  the 
joy,  'assurance,  and  advantage  against  corruption, 
wbioh  the  faithful  performance  of  self-examination 
Would  procure  them.  As  for  the  ungodly,  he  knows 
if  they  should  once  earnestly  examine,  .they  would 
find  out  his  deceits,  and  their  own  danger,  and  so  be 
very  likely  toeseape  Him.  How  could  he  get  so  many 
millions  to  hell  willingly,  if  they  knew  theyiwere 
going  thither  ?  And  ho<y  could  they  aVoid  knowing 
it,  if  they  did  but  thoroughly  try;  having  such  a  clear 


light  arid  sure  rule  in  the  scripture  to  discover  it? 
'  If  the  snare  be  not  hid,  the  bird  will  escape  it.  Sat^ij 
knows  how  to  angle  for  souls  better  than  to  show 
them  the  hook  and  line,  or  fright  them  away  with 
a  noise,  or  with  his  own  appearance.  Therefore  he 
labours .  to  keep  them  from  a  searching  ministry  ; 
or  to  keep  the  minister  from  hdping  them  to  search, 
or  to  take  off  the«dge  of- the  word,  that  it  may  not 
pierce  and  divide;  or  to  turn  away' their  thoughts; 
or  to'  possess  them  with  prejudice.  Satan  knows 
when  the  minister  .has  provided  a  seanehing  sermon, 
fitted  to  the  state  and  necessity  of  a  heare;^ ;  and 
therefore  he  will  keep  him  away  that  day, 'if  it  be 
possible  ;  or  cast  him  into  a  sleep  ;  orsteat  away  the 
Word  by  the'cares  and  talk  of  the  world ;  or  some 
way  prevent  its  operation. 

§  6.  Another  great  hinderance  to->self-examina- 
tioii  arises  from  wicked  men*  'Their  examples ;  theif 
merry  company  and  discourse ;  their  continually 
insisting  on  worldly  concerns;  their  raillery  and  scoffs 
at  godly  persons;  also  their  pei'suasions,,allurementS, 
and  threatsij  are  each  of  them  exceedingly  great  temp- 
tations tos&curity.  "  God  doth  scarce  ever  open  the 
eyes  of  a  poor  sinner,  to  see  that  his  way  is  wrong, 
but  presently  there  is  a  multitude  of  Satan's  apostles 
ready  to  deceive  and  settle  him  again  in  the  qiiiet 
possessi9n  of  his  former  master.  "  What  .'"say  they, 
"do  you  make  a  doubt  of  your  salvation,  Who  have 
lived  so  well,  and  done  nobody  any  harm  ?  God  is 
merciful ;  and  if  such  as  you  shall  not  be  saved,  God. 
help  a  great  many !  What  do  you  think  of  all  yorr 
forefathers  ?  And  what  will  become  of  all  your  friends 
and  neighbours  .that  live  as  you  do?  Will  they  all 
be  damned  ?  Come,  come,  if  you  hearken  to  these 
preachers,  they  will  drive  yo«  out  of  your  wits.    Are 

TO   THE    saints'   REST.  145 

not  ^I  men  sinners?  And  did  not  Christ  die  to 
save  sidiners  ?  ■  Never  trouble  your  head  with  these 
thoughts,  and  you  shall  do  well/'  O  how  many 
thousands  h^ve  such  charms ,  kept,  asleep  in  deceit 
and  security,-  till  deatlj  and  hell  have  awakened 
thdm  !  The 'Lord  calls  to  the  sinner  and  tells  him, 
•The  gait  is  strait,'  the  way.  is  narrow,  and  few  find 
it :  Try  and  examine,  give  diligence  to  make  sure. 
The  world  cries,  Never  doubt,  never  trouble  your- 
selves with  these  thoughts.  In  this  strait,  sinner, 
consider,  it  is  Christ,  and  not  your  forefathers,  or 
neighbours,  or  friends,  that  must  judge  you  at  last;, 
and  If  Christ  condemn  you,  these  cannot  save  you : 
therefore  common  reason  may  tell  you,  that  it  is 
not  from  the  words  of  ignorant  men,  but  from  the 
word  of  God,  you'_muSt  fetch  your  hopes  ofsalvatiou.' 
When-"Ahab  would  ihquii-e  amohg  the  iriultitiide  of 
flattering  prophets,  it  was  his  death.  They  can  flatter 
men  into  the  shar'e,  but' they  cannot  tell  how  to  bring 
them  out.  L6t  no  man  deceive  you  with  vain  words; 
jf&r  because  of  these  thinigs  cometh  the  wrath  of  God 
Mpon  the  children  of  disobedience :  be  not  ye  there- 
fore partakers  with  them.* 

§  7.  But  the  greatest  hinderances  are  in  men's 
own  heartsi- — Some  are  so  ignorant,  that  they  know 
i\ot  what  self-examination  is,  nor  what  a  minister 
meaiis  when  he  persuadeth  them  to  try  themselves: 
or  they  know  not  that  th^re  is  any  necessity  for  it, 
but  think  every' man  is  bound' to  believe  that  his 
sins  are  pardotied,  whether  it  be  true  brfalsoi  and 
that  it  is  a  great  fault  to  make  any  question  of  it: 
or  they  do  not  think  that  assurance  can  be  att'ained: 
or  that  there  is-  any  great  difference  between  one 
man  and  another,  but  that  we  are  ^11  Christians, 
*  Eph.  V.  6;  7- 




9jid  thieFeft)ee  nef4  not  trouble  ouf^plv^p  tny 
<fi4ftlbeir;  or  H  l^est  tbqy  know  qot  wberein  the 
<i(i(fferen<:e^  lies.^iDb^y.We  as gr^gss  an  j^e^^ifirfrege- 
fl«B%tioiii  as  Nicpdfmjiis  bad.^-Soroe  will  not  btJidVe 
thiit  God  Will  ever  make  such  a  difference  b«twixt 
.iP9#n  i^  th$  life  t9  ?0;m«;,  aad  fb^refpr^  will  pot  setirch 
tbspiSfJvigi?,  wj^ther  tbey  idifiipr|bi  fir«  so 
.8,t#fi§s^,  say  wWt  m^  can  t©  th«iia>  that  thify  Jay 
it  n<>t  to  Ji<wtj  biiit  giv«  bs  the  hearing,  and  th«re 
is  thi&  e^r^^fjue  are  90  ppi^i^s^^d  with  self-love 
aad  priicis,  th«t  tib^y  will  QptsQ  mwch  ap  suspgut  th#y 
atei^^§^.    m^g  ij  proM<i  |rade$paan,W'h©  acorns 

the  iMMg|^9ijadvic«  ^feasting  "Ap  Ws^b9ipks;  as  fond 
par^njls  will  not  feejievi?  or  h^r  any  ^yU  di  thm  -^hi- 
^req.r-r-SQ|iae  are  sp  gwilty.that  tb^  dare  noltry*  aad 
yet  th^y  daP^  venture  on  a  napre  dt«adful  trial.— 
So«B«  are  sp  in  love  with  sIbj  and  PQ  dislike  thai  way 
of  Qod,  that  they  dare  npt  try  their  W8y<?,  l^at  they 
he  foraed  ftom  th«  course  they  Ipvje,  to  that  •which 
they  j|oati|#.^ppe  ar^  §0  r^wkpd  n^yer  to  change 
their  pr^(lf«it  staie,  that  tW  Wfsgla^t  e^aipioaUon  as 
an  .#fel,^s  thing.    B^f^pa  mw  will  a0?J^  a  new  way, 

when  they  have  lived  so  IftQg.apdgoB?  sp  far?  they 

will  pi^^  il;i^\%  ^fim^  statp  1^  tbp  vi?ptmre,  come  of 
it  .jjt|iajt  will-  Hmy  ip^are  no  busy  in  the  worW, 
t|^lf  they  cftRfvpt  {E^^t  tbev|)«Qlly^  tA  tb^  tryiflg  their 
title  19  ^v^.  QtbW  W§  ?«  qloggpd  with  .alpth- 
fulpfis^  pApir^t,  tbqy^  tb^y  will  npt  bf^  atthfi;  paips 
of  an]y)^r'§^^a|5|;ii^^9,E(,,of  their  ow^  hearts,T-8i4t 
the  na^i^t  c(}pv<flpp-afld,da!^!^r<?ws  impediwent  is  jhat 
f^Jse  f^ijfe  and  hpipe,  ^i^r^i\\j  cjaUed  pre^un^ptioi^, 
^hicli  be^fs  v!p  the  bearts  of  the  greatfist  part  of 
^e  >i«Qj;ld,  ^d  ^o  l^fiegs  thsmffoflasuiip^f^ti^g  their 

§  8.    And  if  a  man  should  b^eak  through  all  these 

TO   THR  saints'   RKST.  MT 

binderances,  and  set  upoQ  the  dutjr  of  aelf-exam-' 
nation,  yet  assurance  is  not'pveaevtiy  attaaaedw  Too 
many  deceive  themselves  in  their  tiaiqairiesi  after  it> 
through  one  or  other  of  the  following  causes:  these 
is  such  confUsion  and  darkness  in  ihesoiU  of  man, 
espeeiaM'y  of  an  unregemvaXa  man,  that  he  can 
scarcely  tell  virhat  he  doth^,  or  what  is  in  him.  A»  in 
a  howt^i  wrbere  nothmg  is  in  its  proper  plaee^  it  will 
be  diffieul^  to  find  what  is  wanted;  so  it  is  in  the 
h«art  where  all  things  are  in  disorder.  Most  men 
aceus<tom  themselves)  to  be  strangers  at  home«  and< 
too  little  observe  the  temper  and>  motions  of  theiit 
own  hearts. — Many  are  resolved  what  to  judge  before 
they  try;-  like  a  bribed  judge,  who  exafiaines  a^  if 
he  wowkl  judge  nprigbtly,  whett  he  ia  previoilsly' 
resolved  which  wary  the  cause  shall  gO'.  Men  are 
piairtial  in  th«ir  own  cause ;  ready  to  think  theif  gi«at 
sins  small,  and  their  snrall  sins  none;  their  gifts  of 
nature  toi  be  the  vrovk  of  grace,  and  to  say,  AU 
these  feme  I  kept  f*mn  myytadhi  I  am  riehf  and 
increased  in  goods',  amid' hane  need  of  noitmtg.  Most 
men  searoh  but  by  the  halves.  If  it  will  not  easily 
and  quickly  be  done,  they  are  discouraged,  andleave 
off.  They  ti-y  themselves- by  false  marks  and!  rules; 
Mot  knowing  whereki  the  truth  of  Christianity  doth  , 
consist;  some  looking  beypnd,  and  some  short  of  the 
scripture-standard.  'And  frequently  they  miscarry  in 
this  work  by  attempting  it  in  their  own  strength. 
As  some  expect  theSpiritshould  do  itwiAoutthero, 
so  others  attempt  it  themselves,  without  seeking  or 
expecting  the  help  of  the  Spirit;  Both  these  will 
ee^taflfi)iy;.mi8eaii>ry  in  fheir  assurance. 

^  9.  Some'Ottier  bioderanceskeep  even  true  Chris* 
tians  from^  comfortable  certBinty!>.  As  f6r  instance  :-— 
The  weakness  of  g<race.     Small  things  we  hardly 

148  HOW.  TO   DISCERN    OUR    tlTTLE 

cliscertiecl.  Most  Christians  content  then^selv^s  with  a 
small  measureof  grace,-aDd  do  notfoUow  on  to  spiritual 
strength  and  manhood.  Thd  chief  remedy  for  such 
would  be  to  follow  on.  their  duty,  till  their  grace  be 
increased.  Wait  upon -God  in  the  use  of  his  prescribed 
meansy  and  he  will  undoubtedly  bless  you  with  in- 
crease.- O  that  Christians  would  bestow  most. of  that 
time  to  getting  more  grace,  which  they  bestow  in 
anxious  doubtings  whether  they  have  any  or  none>; 
and'lay'  out  those  serious  aflfections  in  praying  for 
ihore  grace,  which  they  bestow  in  fruitless  coihplaints ! 
I  beseech  thee,  Christian,  take  this  advice  as  from 
God;  and  then,  when  thou  believest  strongly,  and 
lovest  .fervently,  thou,  canst  no  more  doubt  of  thy 
faith  and  love,  than  a  man  that  is  very  hot  can  doubt 
of  his  warmt-hj  or  a  man  that  ia  strong  and  lusty,  can 
doubt  of  hisbeing  alive.— r-Christians  hinder  their  own 
comfort  by  looking  more  at  signs^  which,  tell  them 
what  they  are,  than  at;precepts,  w,hich  tell  them  what 
they  should  do.  As  if  their  present  case  must  needs 
be  their  eve'rlas-ting  case;  and  if  they  be  now  unpar- 
doned, there  were  no  remedy.  Were  he  not  mad, 
that  would'  lie  weeping  because  hp  is  not  pardoned, 
when  his  prince  stands  by  all  the  while  offering  him  a 
pa!rdon,  and  persuading  him  to  accept  of  it?;  Justifying 
faSth,  Christian,  Js  not  thy  persuasion  of  God's  special 
love  to  thee,  but  thy  accepting  Christ  to  make  thee 
lovely.  It  is  far  better  to  accept  Christ  ^s  offered,, 
than  spend  so  miich' time  in  doubting  whether  we 
have  Christ  or  not.-^Another  cause  of  distress  to 
Christians  is,  their*  mistaking  assurance  for  the  joy 
that  sometimes  accompanies  it.  As  if  a  child  should 
take  himself  for  a  son  no  longer  than  while  he  sees 
the  smiles  of  his  father's  face,  or  hears  the  comfortable 
expressions  of  his  mouth  ;  and.  as  if  the  father  ueased 

TO   THE    saints'   REST. '      '  14&  , 

to  be  a  father,  whenever  he  ceased  those  smiles  and 
speeche?. — The  trouble  of  souls  is  also  increased  by 
their.not  knowing  the  ordinary  way  of  God's  convey- 
ing comfort.     They  think  they  have  nothing  to  do . 
but  to  wait  when  God  will  bestow  it.     But.  they 
must  know,  that  the  matter  of  their  comfort  is  in  the 
promises,  and  thence  they  must  fetch  it  as  often  as 
they  expect  it,  by  daily  and  diligently  medLtating 
upon  the  promises;  and  in  this  way  they  may  expect  . 
the.  Spirit  will  communicate  comfort  ^t6  their  souls. 
The  joy  of  the  promises,  and  the  joy  of  the  Holy 
Ghostj  are  one  :  add  to  this,  their  expecting  a  greater 
measure  of  assurance  than  God  usually  bestows. ,  (As 
long  as  they  have  any  doubting,  thej^  thirik  they  have 
no  assurance.    They  consider  not  that  there  are  m£^iy 
degrees  of. certainty.    ,Whil,e  they  are  here,  they  shall 
hnow  hut  in  part. — And  also,  their  deriving  their 
comfort  at  first  from  in8ufficient,grounds.     This  may 
be  the  case  of  a  gracious  soul,  who  hath  bettergrounds, 
but  doth  not  see  them.    As  an  infant  hath  life  before 
he  knoweth  it,  and  many.- misapprehension?  of  himself  ^ 
and  other  things*  yet  it  will. not  follow  that  he  hath 
no  life.     So  when  Christians  find  a  flaw  in  their  first 
comforts,  they  are  not  to  judge  it  a  flaw  in  their 
safety. — Many  continue  under  doubting,  through  the 
exceeding  weakness  of  their  natural  parts.     Many 
honest  hearts  have  weak  .heads,  and  know  not  how  to 
perform  the  work  of  self-trial.    They  will  acknowledge 
the  premises,  and  yet  deny, the  apparent  conclusion* 
If  God  do  not  some  other  way  supply  the  defect  of 
their  reason,  I  see  not  how  they  should  have  clear 
and  settled  peace.    One  great  and  tpo  coinmon  cause 
of  distress  is,  the  secret  maintaining  sckqe  knovKn  jsini 
This  abates  the  degree  of  our  graoe^j  and  so  makes 
them  more  undiscerna{)le.    It  obscureth  that  which  , 

150  HOW    TO    DISCERN   OUR   TITLE 

it  destroyeth  not ;  for  it  faeareth  such.  sway. that  grace 
is  not  in  action,;  nor  seems  to  stir,  nor  is  scarce  heard 
speak  for  the  noise  of  this  corruption.  It  puts  out 
or  dimiBeth  the  eye  of  the  sou),  and  stupifies  it,  that 
it  can  neither  see  nor  feel  its  own  condition.  But 
espeoially  it  prQvokek  God  to  withdraw  himself,  bis 
comforts,  and  the  assistance  of  his  Spirit,  without 
which  we  may  search  long  enough  befoafe  we  have 
assutance.  God  hath  made  a  separation  between  sin 
and  peace.  As  long  as  thou  dost  cherish  thy  pride, 
^by  love  of  the  world,'  the  desires  of  the  flesh,  or  any 
unchristiai^  practice,  thou  expectest  comfort  in  vain. 
If  a  man  settethuphis  idols  in  his  heart,  and  pittteth 
ihestumhUhghUcfcf^his  itiiquky  before  his  face,  and 
Cometh  to  administer  or  to-'God,  to  inquire  for  corafoftj 
instead  of  comforting  him,  God  will  atiswer  him  that 
emnetk,  according  to  the  multitude  of  his  idols.* — 
Another  very  great  and'  common  cause  of  the  want 
of  comfort  is,  when  grace  is  not  kept  in  constan.t-and 
lively  exercise.  The  way  of  painful  duty,  is  the  ^?ay 
of  fullest  comfort.  Peace  and  comfort  are  Christ's 
gr^at  encouragements  to  faithfulness  and  obedience ; 
and  therefore,  thaugh  our  obedience  does  not  merit 
thetB,  yet  they  usually  rise  and  fall  with  oui*  diligeiBee 
in  duty.  As  prayer  must  haVe,&ith  and  fervency  to 
procure  it  success,  besides  the  bk>od  and  intercession 
of  Christ,  so  must  all  other  parts'  of  our  obedieDoe. 
If  thou  grow  steldom-,  and  customary,  and  cpbi'  in 
duty,  espeeiaMy  in  thy  secret  prayers,  to  God,  aitd  yet 
findest  no  abatement  in  thy  joys,  I  cannot  but  fear 
thy  joys  are  either  carnal  or  diabolical.  Besidess  graee 
is  never  apparent  and  sensible  to  the  soUt,  but  whtile 
it  is  in  actioR;  therefore  want  oi"  action  must  ea^ise 
want  of  assurancei     And  the  actioB'  of  the  s©_ul  upon 

*  Ezek.  xiv.  3,  4. 

TO   THE   gAINTs'   REST.  151 

such  «xcelknt  objects,  oaturaliy  bringeth  eonsolatioa 
with  it.  The  very  act  of  loving  God  io  Christ  is 
inexpressibly  sweet.  The  soul  that  is  best  furnished 
with  grace,  when  it  is  not  in  action,  is  like  a  lute  well 
stringed  and  tuned,  which  while  it  lieth  still,  oiaketh 
no  naore  music  than  a  common  piece  of  wood;  but 
when  it  is  handled  by  a  skilful  musician,  the  melody 
is  delightful.  Some  degree  of  comfort  follows  every 
good  action,  as  heat  accompanies  fire,  and  as  beams  , 
and  influence  issue  from  the  sun.  A.  man  th»t.  is 
cold,  should  labour  till  heat  be  excited;  so  he  that 
wants  assurance'  must  not  st^nd  still,  but  exercise  his  t 
graces,  till  his  doubts  vanish. — The  want  of  consola-* 
tion  in  the  soul  is  also  very  commonly  owing  to  bodily 
melancholy.  It  is  no  more  wonder  for  a  conscien* 
tious  man,  under  melancholy,  to  doubts  and  fear,  and 
despair,  than  fot^a  sick  man  to  groan,  or  a , child  to 
cry  when  it  is  chastised.  Without  the  physician,  in 
this  C9Se,  the  lat>0urs  of  the  divine  are  usually  in  vain. 
You  may  silence,  but  you  cannot  comfort  them.  You 
may  m^ke  them  confess  they  have  some  grace,  aiid 
yet  cannot  bring  them  to  the  comfort^le  conclusiour 
All  the  good  thoughts  of  their  state  which  you  can 
possibly  help  them  to,  are  seldom  above  a  day  or  two 
old.  They  cry  out  of  si n^  and  the  wrath  of  God, 
whep  the  chief  cause  is  in  their  bodiiy  distemper,   . 

§  10.  (3.)  < As  for  motives  j:o  persuade  to  the  duty 
of  s^Jf-'examipation,  .1  entreat  you  to  consider  the 
folloyving.—rTo  be  deceived  about  your  titlfeto  heaven 
is  very  easy.  Many  are  now  in  hell,  that  never  sus* . 
pected  .»Qy-falsehood  in  their  hearts,  that  Excelled  in 
worldly  wisdom,  that  lived  in-  the  clear  light  of  tit» 
gospel,  and  even  preached  against  the  negligence  of 
others.  To  be  qiijstaken  in  this  great  point  is  also 
very  common.    It  is  the  caseof  mo^t  in  the  world. 

152  HOW   TO    DISCEftN   OUR  , TITLE 

In  the  old  world,  and  in  Sodom^  we  find  none  that 
"were  in  any  fear  of  judgment.  Ahnost  all  menaniong 
us  verily  look  to  be  saved  ;  yet  Christ  tells  us,  there 
he  few  that  find  ihe  strait  gate,  and  narrow  way, 
which  leadeth  unto  life.*  And  if  isuch  multitudes  are 
deceived,  should  we  not  search  the  more  diiigenUy, 
lest  w.e  should  be  deceived  as  well  as  they  ? — ^Nothing 
is  more  dangerous  than  to  be  thus  mistaken.  If  the 
godly  judge  their  state  worse  than  it  is,  the  conse- 
q^ufences  of  this  iriistake  will  be  sorrowful ;  but  the 
mischief  flowing  from  the  mistake  of  the  ungodly  is 
unspeakable.  It  will  exeeedihgly  confirm  them  in 
the  service  of  Satan.  It  will  render  inefffectual  the 
means  that  should  do  them  good.  It  will,  keep  a  man 
from  compassionating  his  own  soul.  It  is  a  case  oi 
the  greatest  moment,  where  everlasting  salvation  or 
damnation  is  to  be  determined.  And  if  you  mistake 
till  death,  you  are  undone  for  even  Seeing  then  the 
danger  is  so  greatj  what  wise,  man  would  not  follow 
the  search  of  his  heart  both  day-  and  night,  till  he 
were  assured  of  his  safety  ? — Consider  how  smalkthe 
labour  of  this  duty  is  in  comparison  of  that  sorrow 
which  foUoweth  its  nfeglect.  You  can  endure  to  toil 
and  sweat  from  year  to  year,  to  prevent  poverty,  and 
why' not  spend  a  little  time  in  self-examination,  to 
prevent  eternal  misery  ?  By  neglecting  this  duty,  yoq 
can  scarce  do  Satan  a  gijf  ater  pleasure,  nor  yourselves 
a  greater  injury.  It  is  the  grand  design  of  the  devil, 
in  all  his  temptations,  to  deceive  you,  and'kefep  you 
'ignorant  of  your  danger,  till  you  feel  the  .everlasting 
flames ;  and 'will  you  join  with  him  to  deceive  your- 
self? If  you  do  this  for  him,  you  do  the  greatest  part 
of  his  w0rk.  And  hath  he  deserved,  so  welj  of  you, 
that  you  should  assist  him  in  such  a  design  as  your 

•  Matt.  vii.  14. 

TO   THE   saints'   REST.  153 

damnation  ? — The  time  is  nigh  when  God  will  search 
you.  If  it  be  but  in  t^iis  life  by  affliction,  it  will 
make  you  wish  that  you  had  tried  and  judged  your- 
selves, that  you  might  have  escaped  the  judgment 
of  God.  It.  was  a  terrible  voice  to  Adam,  Where 
art  thou?  Hast  thou  eaten  of  the -tree?  And;  to 
Cain,  Where  is  thy  brother Pj  Men  consider  not  in 
their  hearts,  that  /,  saith  the  Lord,  remember  all  their 
"wickedness;  now  their  own  doings  have  beset  them 
about;  they  are  before  my  face.*  Consider  alsq  what 
would,  be  thie  sweet  effects  of  this  selfrexamipation. 
If  thou  be  upright  and  godly,  it  will  lead. thee  straight 
towards  assurance  of  God's  love ;  if.  thou  be  not, 
though  it  will  trouble  thee  at  the  present,  yet  it 
,will  tend  to  thy  happiness,  and  at  length  lead  thee 
tOFithe  assurance  of  that  happiness.,,  Is  it  not  a 
desirable  thing  (o  know  what  shall  hereafter? 
especially  what  shall  befall  our,  soute?  and  what 
place  and  statie  we  must  bean  for  ever?  And  as 
the  very  knowledge  itself  ijade^jrable^, -how  much 
greater  will  the>comfortibe  of.  that  certainty  of  sal- 
vation ?( What  sweet  thoughts  wilt  thou  have  of  God? 
AH  that  greatness  and  justice,  which  is  the  terror 
of  others,  will: be  thy  joy.  How  sweet  may  be  thys. 
thoughts  of  Christ,'  and  the  blood  he  h^th  shed,,  and 
the  benefits  he  hath  procured !  How  welcome  will 
the  >word  of  God  be  to  thee,  and  hmo  beautiful  the 
very  feet  of  those  that  bring  it  I^  How  svveet  wiU 
be  the  promises  when  thou  art  sure  they  are  thine 
own !  The  very  threatenings  will  occasion  thy  com- 
fort, to  remember  that  thou  hast  escaped  them. 
What  boldness  and  comfort  mayest  thou  then  have 
in  prayer,  when  thou  canst  say.  Our  Father,  in  full 
assurance!  It  will  make  the  Lord'&  supper,  a  re- 
iilfi    ':^j-;&  *  Hoaea  vii;  2.;  • 

154  H0\^   TO    DI&CE»N  01?A  TDtLE 

jfresliing  feast  to  thy  souk  It  will  multrplyi  the 
sweetness  of  every  conamon  mercy*  How  cOniibrtably. 
Blaytest  thouithen  undergo  all  afflictions!'  Howwiitt 
i^  swe^t'Ca  t'hy  forethoughts  of  death<  and  judgment, 
of  lieaveri  and  hellf  How  lively  will  it  make  thee 
in  the  work  of  the  Lord,  and  how  profitable  to  ali 
around  thee!  What  vigour  will  it  infuse  into  all;  thy 
graces  and  al^otiions,  kindlfe  thy  repentance,  inilame 
thy  love,  quicken  l^y  desire^,  and  confiirm  thy  &itb<« 
be  a  fountain  of  cotitroualFejoichng,'  overflow  thy 
heart  with  thankfulness',  raise  thee  higfai  in  the  de^ 
Ijghtful  work  of  praise,  help^  thee  to  be  beaveolyt 
minded',  and  render  thee  persevering-  in  all !  All  these 
sweet  effects  of  assurance  would  make  thy  ljfe<  a 
heaven  upon  earth. 

§  11.  Though  I  am  certain  these  moititvesihave 
itr(&ight  of  j^eason  'm  them,  yet  I  am  jiealoiis,  Rteades, 
lest  you  'itiy  aside  the  book,  as-  if  yeu  bad  done,  and 
never  set  yourself  to  the  practice  of  the  duty.  The 
case  iti  banc!  is  of  the  greatest  moment^  whether  tboii 
sh^It  everlastingly-  live  in  heaven  or  hell.  I  here 
i^uest  the@,  in  behalf  of  thy  soul;  nay,  I  change 
thee,  in  the  name  of  the  E>ord,^  that.tliou  defer  no 
longef,  but  take  thy  heart  (p  task  ih  good  earnest^ 
and;  think  with  thyself,  "  Is  it  so  easy,  so  comtmonj 
and^  so  dangerous  to  be-  mistaken  ?  Are  there  so 
m'^y.-i^itroDgCways  ?>  Is,tbe  hearts-soideoeitful'?.  Whjf 
ihen  do  I  not  search  i^to^  every  corner,  tilil'know 
myi  state ?v'  Must  I  so  shortly- undergo,  tbq  tralal  at 
t-be  bar  of  Christ?'  A^jdi  d»  T  not  presently  try 
myself?  WMt  a  case  were  I  in,  ili  I  should  then 
miscarry-?  May  L  kno\$';  by,  a  little  diligent)  inquiry 
now  i  and  dalisiick  at  the  labouri??'  But  perhaps 
tfeou  wilt- say,  'f  Lknaw  not  howltadoxit.''  In^that 
I  am  now  to  give  thee,  directions;  but,  alas!  it  will 

TO  THE   saints'  REST.  ,     '      *W 

be  in  vahi,  if  thou  art  not  resolved  to  practiw 
theto.  Wilt  thoU)  therefore,  before  thou  goest  any 
fimbdF,  here  promise  before  the  Lord,  to  set  thyself 
UipOn  the  sfieedy  ^eiforman'ce  of  the  'duty>  according 
to  the  directions  I  shall  laydownfrototbe.vbrd  ^ 
God.  I  demand  notfaing:UnTea6onabl'e;or  itnpoBisible. 
It  is  but  to  bestow  a  few  hours,  f to  know  ,wb«t 
shall  becoSte  of  thee  for  ever.  If  a  neighbOUVt  Or 
A  friend,  desire  but  an  .hour's  time  of  thee  in  Conver- 
sation, ot  biisi<iess^  br  aby  thing  in  which  thou  tnay^st  - 
be  ©f  ^f:vice,  surtly  th^li  wOuldst  Hot  dfeny  it  5  how 
much  less-shouldst  thou  6eny  this  to  thyself  ii)  W 
great  an  stiffair !  I  pray  tliee  to  take  from  me  thi& 
requestj  as  if,  in  the  ninae  of  Christj  I  presented 
it  to  thfee  6a  my  knees;  and  I  will  betake  me  On 
my  knees  to  Christ  again,  to  bag  that  he  will  p^d^ 
thy  heart  to  the  duty. 

^  12.  (4.)  The  dit^ctions.  ho^  to  examine  thyself 
are  such  as  these : — Empty  thy  mind  of  all  othfer 
cares  artd  thoughts,  that  they  Baay  not  distract  or 
divide  thy  mind.  This  work  will  be  enough  at 
once,,without  joining  others  Ivith  it.  Then  fall  down 
before  God  in  hearty  <prayeri  desiring  the  assistance 
of  his  Spirit,  to  discover  to  thee  the  plain' troth  of 
thy  condition,  and  to  enlighten  thee  in  the  whole 
progress  of  this  work.  Make  choice  of  the  most 
oonvenient  tii!kie  and  place'.  Let  the  place  be  the 
most  private;  and  the  time*  when  you  have  nothing 
to  interrupt  you  ;  and  if  possible,  let  it  be  the  pre- 
sent timei  Have  in  readiness,  either  in  memOry  or 
wdting,  sdme  scriptures,  containing  the  descriptions 
of  the  sajimtil)  add  "the  (gospel  terms  of  salvation;  And 
conviiice  thyself  th<>roughly' of  their  infallible  truth. 
Proceed  then  to  put  the;  question  to  thyself.  Lfet 
it  not  bsj  wbietberKJthere  b6  any  goOd  in  thee  at  all } 



iior,^.Vphether  thou  hast  such  or  such  a  degreetind 
measure  of  grace?     but  whether  such  or  such  a 
saving  grace  be  in  thee  in  sincerity  or  not? — ^If  thy 
heart 'draw  back  from  the  work,  force  it  ou.     Lay  ^ 
thy  command  upon  it.     Let  reason  interpose,  and 
use  its  authority.-  Yea,  lay  the  command  of- God 
upon  it,  and  charge  it  to  obey  upon  pain  of  his  dis- 
pleasure.    Let  conscience  also  do  its  office,  till  thy 
beairt  be!  excited  to  the  work. — ^Nor  let  thy  heart  • 
trifle  away  the  time,  when  it  shduld  be  diligently 
at  the  work.     Do  as  the  Psalmist,  my  spirit  made 
'Mligent  search.     He  that  can  prevail  with  his  own 
heart,  shall  also  prevail  with  God. — If,  after  all  thy 
pains,  thou  art  not  resolved,  then  seek  out  for  help. 
Go  to  one  that  is  godly,  experienced,   able,'  and 
faithfal,  and    tell  him  thy  case,  and  desire  his  best 
advice.     Use  the  judgment  of  such  a  one,  as  that 
of  a  physician  for  thy  body  ;  though  this  can  afford 
thee  no  full  certainty,  yet,  it  may  be  a  great  help  to 
stajr  and  direct  thee.     But  do  not  ^niake  it  a  pre^ 
tence  to  put  off  thy  own  self-examination.     Ohly 
use  it  as  one  of  the  last  remedies,  when  thy  own 
endeavours  will  not  serve.     When  thou  hast  disco- 
vered thy  true  statp,  pass  sentence  on  thyself  accor^ 
dingly ;  leither  that  thou  art  a  true  Christian,  or  that 
thou  art  noU-  Pass  not  this  sentence  rashly,  nor 
with  self-flattery,  nor  with  melancholy  terrors;  bat 
delibei^tely^  truly,  and  according  to  thy  conscience, 
convinced  by  scripture  and  reason.     Lsibour  to  get 
thy  heart  affected  with  its  eonditionj  according  to 
the  sentence  passed  on  it.    If  graceless,  think  of  thy 
misery.     If  renewed  and .  sanctified,  think  what  k 
blessed  state  the  Lord  hath  brought  thee  into.  Pursue 
these  thoughts  till  they  have  left  their  impression 
pn  thy  heart.— Write  this  sentence  at  least  in  thy 

TO    THE  ,SA,ISTS'    REST.  157 

memory.  "  At  such  a  time,'  upon  thorough  exami- 
nation, 1  found  my  state  to  be  thus,  or  thus^"  Such 
a  record  will  be  very  useful  to  thee  hereafter.  Trust 
not  to  4his  one  discovery,  so  as  to  try  no  more; 
nor  let  it  hinder  thee  in  the  daily  search  of  thy 
ways :  neither  be  discouraged,  if  the  trial  must  be 
often  repeated.  Especially  take  heed,  if  unregenerate, 
not  to  conclude  of  thy  future -state  by  the  present. 
Do  not  say,  "  because  I  am  ungodly,  I  shall  die 
sb ;  because  I  am  a  hypocrite,  I  shall  continue  so ;" 
Do  not  despair.  "Nothing  but  thy  unwillingness  can 
keep  "thee  from  Christ,  though  thou' hast  hitherto 
abused  him,  and  dissembled  with  him. 

4  13^  (5.)  •  Now  let  me  add  some  marks  by  which 
you  may  try  your  title  to- the  saints'  rest.  I  will 
only  mention  these  two,— taking  God  for  thy  chief 
good,— and  heartily  accepting  Christ  for  thy  only 
Saviour  and  Lord. 

§  14.  Every  soul  that  bath  a  title  to  this  rest,  doth 
place  his  chief  happiness  il)  God.  This  rest  con- 
sisteth  in  the  full  and.  glorious  enjoyment  of  God. 
He  that  maketh-not  God  his  chief  good  and  ulti- 
mate end,  is  in  heart  a  pagan  and  a  vile  idolater. 
Let  me  ask  then,  dost  thou  truly  account  it  thy 
chief  happiness  to  enjoy  the  Lord  in  glory,  or  dost 
thou  not?  Canst  thou  say,  the  lAtrd  is  my'portum? 
Whom  have  I  in  heaven  but  thee?  and  there  is  none 
upon  eatth  that  I  desire  besides  thee  ?  If  thou  be  an 
heir  of  rest,  it  is  thus  with  thee.  Though  the  flesh 
will  be  pleading  for  its  own  delights,  and  the  world 
will  be  creeping  into  thine  affections ;  yet  in  thy 
ordinary,  settled,  prevailing  judgment; and  affections, 
thou  preferrest  God  before  all  things  in  the  world. 

Thou  makest  him  the  very  end  of  thy  desires  and 

endeavours.    The  very  reason  why  thouhearest  and 


prsiyest,  and  desirest  to  live  on  earth,  is  chiefly  thisj 
that  thdu  mayest  sfeek  the  Loi^d,  and  maikfe  sure  of 
tfey  rest.  Though  thou  dost  not  seek  it  so  zea- 
lously as  thou  shouldst ;  yet  4t  bath  the  'chhef  of 
thy  desit-es  <and  endeavours,  so  that  nothing  else  is 
desired  or  preferred  biefore  it.  Thoii  wilt  think  no 
labour  orsuflFeting  too  great  to  obtaiii  it.  And  tiiouj^h 
the  flesh  tnay  sometimes  shrink,  yfet  thou  art  re* 
solved  and'coniiiented  to  go  thTough  all.  Thy  esteetaa 
for  it  will  also  be  so  high,  and  thy  affection  to  it  so 
great,  that:  iihou  wouldst  not  ex<5hange  thy  title  to 
it,  and  hopes  of  it,  fot  any  worldly  good  whatsoever. 
If  God  should  set  before  thee  an  eternity  of  fearthly 
pleasures  on  one  hand,  and  the  saints'  re^t  on  the 
btber,  and  bid  thee  take  thy  choice;  thou  wouldst 
tefuse  the  world,  and  choose  this  rest.  But  if  thou 
art  yet  unsanctified,  then  thou  dost  in  thy  heart 
prefer  thy  worldly  happiness  before  Grod ;  and  though 
thy  tongue  may  say,  that  God  is  thy  chief  :good, 
yet  thy  heai-t  doth  toot  so  esteem  hitti.  For  the 
iVorld  is  the'cfeief  end  of  thy  desires  sind  endea*i?purs'. 
Thy  very  heart  is  set  upon  it.  Thy  greatesrt  caife 
and  labour  is  tb  maintain  thy  <!riedit,  or  fleshly  d^ 
lig;hts.  But  the  Hfeto'coinehath  little  of  thy  care  d!r 
labourti  Thou  didst  fievfer  perceive  so  much  excd^ 
lency  in  that  unseen  glory  of  another  wbi4dj  as  to 
draw  thy  heart  after  it,  and  set  thfee  a  labourih'g 
heartily  for. it.  Thfe  little  ^ains  thbii  besWwest  that 
<ray,  is  but  in  the  secbnd  places  God  hath  but  thfe 
World's  lebvings ;  only  that  time'  and  labour  Whioh 
thou  ■Canst  sf>are  frotei  the  world,  or  those  few,  doW, 
and  cafeless  thouglite  wfaibh  foHo*v  thy  constant, 
earnest,  and  delightflil  tbdu^hts  ctf  earthly  tbii^. 
Neither  vi^ouldst  thtsti  do  any  thing  at  all  fenhe^Veo, 
S>f-  thou  knewest  hiow  to  keep  the  ivorld'.     But  lest 

TO   THE   saints'   REST.,  159 

tihou>  shouldst  be  tunned  into  hsiii,  when  tboUi  canst 
keep  the  world  no  longer^  therefore  thou  wilt  do 
something.  For  the  same  reason  thou  tbinlteSt,  the 
way  of  God  too  stwoti,  and  will  nofe  be  persuadedi 
to  the  Gonstant  labour  of  walikiiag  aocordifflg'  to  t\im 
gfospel  rale ;  and  wheni  it  oooiies  to  the  trijaj^  thaA 
tfeiou  must  fopsake  Clurist,  or  thy  worldly  b^ppinesi^ 
thett  thou  wilt  venture  fceaveni  itotbier  than  earth, 
and  sorwilfeilliyi  deny  thy  obedience  to  God.  Aii4 
certainly,  if  God  would  but  give  thee  leave,  to  liviQ 
in  keslth  and  wealth  fop  ever-  OO'  earth,  thou  wouldgt; 
think  it  a  better-  s.taite  than  rest;  J^eti  tliiena;  seek 
for  h-eaven  thatwou'ldj-fihouwoulidst,  think  this;  thy 
chifef  happiness^'  ■  Thi»  is  thy  case,  if  thou  ant  yet 
an  unregenerate  person,  andi  hast  no  title  to  tim 
s^kints'  ife»t.  _ !  "  - 

^15.  -And  as  thou  takest  God  foE  thy  chief  ^od* 
so  thou  dost  heairtily  accept  of  Chris4i  for  tby  onJy 
Saviour  and  Locd,  to  bdng  thee  to  thi3!res.t.  The 
ibrtiier  mark  wds  the  sumi  o£rthe  first  atKl  gceat 
coJEnmand  of  the  law>,  7%q»  sJialt.  hve  the  Lord  thi^ 
God  mth  aU  ihy  heari.  The  second,  mark,  is^  the 
sum  of  the  command  of  the  gospel^  Beliisve  mtJi0 
Lffpd)  J.em»  Ckrist,  as/id.  thorn. shqltbR  saved.  And 
the  performance  of  these  two,  is  the  whole  of  god- 
Itnessand'Christianity.  This  mark  is  but  the  definitions 
<d  faith.  Dost  thou  heartily  consent  that  Chriat 
^one  shall'  he  thy  Saviour?  and  no  further  trust  to^ 
^>  du>ties  and  works,  than  as  means  appointed  III 
jlilbordiination  to  him  ?  and  looking  at  them  as  not,  in 
the  least  measure  able  to  satisfy  the  curse  of  the 
bw,  or  as  a  legal  righteousness,  Xtx  any  part  of  it; 
but.o^B«ent  to  trust  thy  salvation  on  the  redemption 
made  by  Chrisit?  Art  thou  also  content  to  take 
Xim  for.  thy  only  Lord  and  King,  to  govern  aqdigaide 

160  HOW;    TO    DISCERN    QUE    TITLE 

thee  by  his  laws  and  Spirit ;  land  to  obey  him,  even 
when  he  commandeth  the  hardest  duties,  and  tliose 
which  ipost  cross  the  diesires  of  the  flesh  ?V  Is  it  ihy 
sorrow  when  thou  breakest  thy  resolution  herein? 
and  thy  joy  when  thou  keepest  closest  in  obedience 
to  him?  Wouldst  thou  not  change  thy  Lord  and 
Master  for  all  the  wiprld  ?  Thus  is  it  with  every 
true  Christian.  But  if  thou  be  a  hypocrite,  it  is 
far  otherwise.  Thou  mayest  call  Christ  thy  Lord 
and  thy  Saviour;  but  thou  never  foundest  thyself 
so  lost  without  him,  as  to  drive  thee  to  seek  him 
and  trust  him,  and  lay  thy  salvation  on  himalone^ 
At  least  fhou'  didst  never  heartily  consent  that  he 
should  govern  thee  as  thy  Lord,  nor  resign  , up,  thy 
soul  and  life  to  be  ruled  by  him,  nor  take  his  word 
for  the  law  of  thy  thoughts  aiid  actions.  .It is  likely 
thou  art  content  to  be  saved  from  hell  by. Christ 
when,  thou  diest ;  but  in  the  mean  time  he  shall 
command  ithee  no  further  than  will  stand  with  thy 
credit,  or  pleasure,  or  other  worldly  ends, ;  And  if 
he  would  give  thee  leave,  thou  hadst  far  rather  live 
after  the  world  and  flesh,  than 'after  the  Word  and 
Spirit.  And  though  thou  mayest  now  and  then 
have  a  motion  or  purpose  to  the  contrary;  yet  this 
that  I  have  mentioned  is  the  ordinary  desire  and 
choice  of  thy  heart.  'Thou  art  therefore;  no  true 
believer  in  Christ ;  for  though  thou  confess,  him  in 
words,  yet  in  zewhs  thou  dost  deny  him,  being 
abominable,  and  disobedient,  and  unto  every  goad 
work  reprobate.  This  is  the  case  of  those  that  shall 
be  shut  out  of  the  saints'  rest. 

^16.  Observe,  it  is  the  consent  of  your  hearts, 
or  wills,  which  I  especially  lay  down  to  be  inquired 
after.  I  do  not  ask,  whether  th<)U  be  assured  of 
salvation,  nor  whether,  thou  canst  believe  that  thy 

TO    THE    saints'    REST.  '      161 

sms  are  ;|)ard6ned,  and  that  thou  art  beloved  of  God 
in  Christ?  These;  are  no  parts  of  justifying  faith, 
but  excellent  fruits  of  it,  and  they  that  receive  them, 
are<:omforted  by  th^m;  but  ptejheips;  thou  mayest 
never  receive -them  while  bh6u  livestj  and  yet  be  a 
true  heir:  of  rest.  Do  not  say  then,  "I  cannot  be- 
lieve that  iirfy  sinsi  are  pdrdoned,  or  that  I  am  in 
God's  favour  ;  and;  therefore  1  am  tio  true  believer." 
This  is  a  mbst  mistaken  coiiclusion. — The  question 
kt  whether  thou  (test  heartily  acpept  of  Christ,  that 
thpu  mayest.  be  pardoned,  reconciled  to  God,  and 
'^0  sE^yed?  Dost  thou  consent  that  he  shall  be  thy 
Loid,  who  hath  bought  thee,  and  that  he  shall  bring 
the€!  to  heaven  in  his  own  way?  This  is  justifying, 
s^viqg  faith,  and  the  mark  by  which  thou  must  try 
thyself.  Yet  still  observe,, 'th,3t  all  this  consent  must 
be  hearty  and  .real,  not  feigned  or  with  reservations. 
It  is  not  saying,,  as  that  dissembling  son,  I  go,  Sir; 
and.  wet^,  inpt.  If  nny  have  more  of  the  government 
of  , thee  thstp  Christ,  thou  art  not  hi^. disciple.  lam 
sure  these  two  marks  are  such  as  ey<ery  Christian 
hath,  and  none  but  sincere  Christtians'.  Q  that  the 
I:/oi'd  ,wo.u,ld"  now  persuade  thee  to  .(he  close  perform 
mance  of  this  self-trial !  l;]iat  thou  mayest  not  trembk^ 
with  ht)rror  of  soul,  when  the  Judge  of  allthe  worUl 
shall  try  thee;  ,but -be  so  able  to  prove  thy  title  to 
rest,  that  the  prospect  and  approach  of  death  and 
judgment  may  raise  thy  spirits,  and  fill  thee  with  joy! 
§17.  On  the  whole,  as  ever  Christians  would 
have  comforts  that  will  not  deceive  them,  let  them 
make  it  the  great  labour  of  their  lives  to  grow  ii» 
grace,  to  strengthen  and  advance  the  interest  of 
Christ  in  their  souls,  and  to  weaken  and  subdue  the 
interest  of  the  flesh.  Deceive  not  yourselves  with 
a  persuasion,  that  Christ  hath  done  all,  and  left  you 

163  HOW    TO    DISCERN    OUR    TITLE,   &C. 

nothing  do  do.  To  overcome  the  worlds  t^e  fie^^ 
and  the  denil}  and  in  order  to  that,  to  stand  always 
artned  upon  our  watch,  and  valiantly  and  patiently 
to  fight  it  oat,  is  of  great  importance  to  our  assU'" 
ranee  and  salvation.  Indeed 'it  is  so  great  a  part  of 
our  baptismal'  vow,  that  he  whd  performetfa  it  not, 
is  no  more  than  a  nonjinal  Christian.  Not  to  every 
one  that  presumptuously  belieweth,  but  toi  him  that 
overcometh,  vsill  Ckvist  gme  to  eat  of  thie  hidden 
mamna,  and  wiM  give  him  a  white  stone,  and  in  the 
stone  a  new  name  writteii^  which  no  man  huoweth, 
saving  he  that  recebieth  it:  he  shall  eat cf  the  tree  of 
life,  zohich  is  ia  the  midst  of  the  paradise  of  6od, 
and  shall  not  be  hurt  of  the  second  death.  Christ 
tmll  confess  his-  "name  before  his  Father,  and  before 
his  angels,  and  mithe  him  a  pillar  in  the  temple  6f 
God,  and  ht  shall  go-  no  more  out :  and  will  write 
upon  hiw  the  name  of  his  God,  aAd  the  name  of  the 
city  of  his  God,  which  is  New  Jerusalem,  which 
Someth  down  out  of  heaven  from  his  God',  and  will 
tvriteupon  him'his  new  name.  Yea,  He  witl grani  to 
him  to  sit  with  him  on  his  throne;  even  as  he  aiso 
bvei-'came,  and'  is  set  down  with  his  Father  on  his 
throne.  He  that  hath  an  ear,  let  him  hear  what 
the  spirit  ^ih  unto  the  churches.* 

*  Rey,  ii.  7,  U.  IJ.  iii,  $.  1%  21,  2?. 

CHAP.  It. 

The  Dttty  of  the  People  of  God  to  eiedte  others 
to  seek  this  Rht. 

§  I<  the  Author  laments  that  Christians  do  so  little  t6  help  others 

to  obtain  the  saints'  rest :  §  3.  (J.),  Shows  the  nature  of  this  dnty ; 

particularly;   §  3.  (l.J  In  having  our  hearts  aifected  with  the 

misery  of  our  brethren's  souls  ;  §  4 — 6.  (2.)  In  taking  aQ  oppor- 

tfltfities  to  instruct  them  in  the  way  of  salvation;  §  7.  (3.)  In 

promoting  their  profit  by  piiblic  ordinances;  § ^.  (II.)  Assigns 

Tarions  reasons  why  this  di^ty is  so  rauch. neglected,  §'9.:  And 

answers  some   objections   against  it:  §   IQ — 13.   Then,   (III.) 

Urges  to  th^  discharge  of  it,  by  several  eonsiderations :  §  14. 

Addressed  to  siich  as  hdve  knpwiecfge,  learcTidg,  and  utterance; 

§  15.  Thoie  that  are  &eqiiBititWf  WMh  sinners;  §  \6\.  Vbjiiaam 

that  attend  dying  men ;  §  17.  Persons  of  wealth  and  power ;  §  18. 

Ministers ;  §  19.  And  those  that  are  intrusted  with  the  care  of 

<  children  or  servants.  §  20.  The  chaipter  concludes  with  an  earnest 

request  to  (!!lhristidn  parents  to  be  faithful  to  ^eir  trust. 

'  ■  -  .  S 

^  I.     Hath  God  set  before  us  such  a  glorious 

prize  as.  the  saints'  rest,  and  made  us  capable  of 

such,  ineonceivable  happiness?    ^hy  then,  do  not 

all  the  children  qf  this  kingdom  exert, themselves 

mo;e  to  help  others  to  the  enjoyment  of  it?   Alas, 

how  li title  are  poor  souls  about  us  beholden  to  most 

of  us  !     We  see  the  glory  of  the  kingdom,  and  they 

do-not :  we  see  the  misery  of  those  that  are  out 

of  it,  and   they  do   not :  we   see  some  wandering 

quite  out  of  the,  way,  and  know,  if  they  hold  on, 

they  can   never  come   there;  and    they  themselves 

^cern  it  noti.     And  yet  we  will  not  seriously  show 

them -their  dangisr  and  error,  and;  help  to  bring  them 

into  the  way,  that  they  may  live.     Alfis,  how  few 

Christians'  are  there  to  be  found,  that  set  themselves 

with  all  their  mi|;ht  to  sjave  soul&!    No  thanks  to  us, 

if  heaven   be  not  empty,  and  if  the  souls  of  our 

164         THE    DUTY    OF    THE    PEOPLE    OF    GOD 

brethren  perish  not  for  ever. .  Considering  how  im- 
portant tills" duty  is,  to  the  glory  of  Gdd,  and  the 
happiriess  of  men,  I  will:  sliow,— howit  is  »to  be 
performed;  —  why  it  is  so  much  neglected ;  —  and 
then  offer  some  considerations  to  persuade  to  it. 

^  2.  (I.)^  The  duty  of  exciting  and  helping  othei'» 
to  discern  their  title  to  the  saints'  rest,  ddth  not 
mean  that  every  man  sljiould  turn  a  public  preacher,- 
pr  that  any  should  go  beyond  the  bounds  of  their 
particular  callings;  much  less  does  it  consist  in 
promoting  'a  party  spirit ;  and,  least  of  all,  in  speaking 
against  men's  faults  behind  their  backs,  and  be  silent 
before  their  faces.  This  duty  is  of  another  nature, 
and-  consists  of  the  following  things ; — in  having  our 
hearts  aflfected  with?  the  misery  of  our  brethren's 
souls,  in  taking  all  opporturlities  to  instruct  tbe-m 
in  the  way  of  salvation,: — ^^and  in  promoting  their 
profit  by  public  ordinances. 

-  §  3.  (1.)  Our  hearts  m'ust  be  affectisd  with  the 
misery  of  our  brethren's  souls.  We  must  be  compasv 
siohste  towards  them,  and  yearn  after  their  recovery 
and  salvation.  If  we  earnestly  longed  ^  after  their 
conversion,  and  our  hearts  were  solicitous  to  do 
them  good;  it  would  set  us  on  Work,  and  God  would 
usually  bless  it. 

§  4.'  (2*.)  We  must  take.every  opportunity  that  we 
possibly  can,  to  instruct  them  how  to  attain,  sal- 
vation.'  If  the  person  be  ignorant,  labour  to  make 
him  undierstand  the'  chief  happiness  of  man  ;  how 
far  he  was  once  possessed  of  it;  the  covenant  God 
then  made  with  him;  how  he  broke  it;  what 
penalty  he  incurred ;  and  what  misery^,  he  brought 
himself, into;  teach  him  his  need  of  a  Redeehier,; 
liDW  Christ  did  mercifully  interpose,  and  befir  the 
penalty;  what  the  new  covenant  is;'  how  men  are 

TO*  EXCITE   OTHERS    TO   SEEK   THIS   REST.    165 

drawn  to  Christ;  and  what  are  the' riches  and  pri- 
vileges which  believers  have  itv  him.  If  he  is  not 
ifioved  by  these  things^  then  show  hiin' the' excel- 
lency of  the  glory  he  neglects  ;  the  extremity  and 
eternity  of  the  torineiifts  of  the  damned ;  the  justice 
of  enduring  them  for  wilfully  refusing  grace;  the 
certainty,  nearness,  and  terrors  of  death  and  judg- 
ment ;  the  vanity  of  all  things  below  ;  the  sinfulness 
of  sin ;  the  preciousness  Of  Christ;  the  necessity  of 
regeneration,  faith,  and  holiness,  and  the  true  nature 
of  them.  If,,  after  all,- you  find  him  entertaining 
ftlse  hbpes,  then>  urgfit  him  to  examine  his  state  i 
show  him  th&  necessity  of  doing  so;  help  him  in 
it;  nor  leave  him  till  you  have  convinced  hiro  of 
his  rttlSery  and  remedy;  Show  him  how  vain  and 
ddstructive  it  is'  to  join  Christ  and  his  duties,  t6 
coiiipose'his  justifying  righteousness.  Yet  be  sure 
to  draw  him  to 'the  use  of  pH  means;  such  as  hearing 
and  reading  the  word,  calling  Upon  God,  and  asso- 
ioiatikg*  with  the  godly:  persuade  him  to  forsake 
srn,  avoid  all  'temptations  to  sin,  especially  evil 
Companions,-  and  to  Wait  patiently  on  God  in  the 
useof  means^  as  thfe  way  in  which  God  will  be  found. 
•  §  5.  But  because  the  manner  of  performing  this 
wotk  is  of  great^'moment,  observe  therefore  these 
rules. — Enter  upon  it  with  Fight  intentions.  Aim 
at  the  glory  of  God  in'theperson^s  salvation;  Do  it 
not  to  get  a  name,  pr  esteem  to  thyself,  or  to  bring 
men  to  depend  upon  thee,  of  to'get  thee  followers.; 
but  in  obedience  to  Christ,  in  imitation  pf  him,  and 
tender  love'  to  men's  souls:  Do  not  as  those,  who 
Istbour'to  refofm  their  children  or  servants  from  sUch 
things  as  are  against  their  own  profit  or  humour^ 
but  ndver  seek  to  save  their  soUlS'iti  the'  way  which 
God  hath  appointed.  Do  it  speedily,    As  ybu  would 

-166        THE    DUIY.  OF    THE    jJEOPLE    OF    GOD 

DOt  have  then!  del&y  their  return,  do  not  you  delay 
to  seek  their  return.     While  you  are  purposing  to 
teach  and -help  him,  the  ipnah  goes  deeper  in  debt; 
tvrath  is  heaping  4ip;  sin  taking  root;  custom  fastens . 
him;  temptatidns to  sin  multiply;  conscience  grovvs 
$eared;  the  heart  hardened;  the  devil  rules;  Christ 
is  shut  out;;  the   Spirit  is  resisted;    God    is  daily 
dishonpured ;  his  law  violated;  he  is'without  a  ser- 
vant, and  that  service  from  him  which  He  should 
have ;  time  runs  on ;  death   and  judgment  are   at 
the  door;  and  what  if  the  man  die,  and  drop  into 
hell,  while  you  are  purposing  to  prevent  it?     If  'm 
the  case  of  his  bodily  distress,  you  must  not  say.  to 
Mm,  Go,  and  come  agairif.  and  t(h-mor^(m  /  will  gtvet 
when  thou  hast  it  by  thee;*  how  much  less  may  yau 
delay  the  succour  of  his  sk)u1  !    that  physician,  is  no 
better  than  a   murderer,   who  negligently  delayeth 
till  his  pa,tient  be  dead  or  past  cure.  Lfaiy  by  excuses 
.then,  and  all  lesser  businests,  and  exhort  one  anoth^ 
'daih/^  while  it  i$  called  to-day  ;'f  lest,  any  be  hardened 
through  the  deceitfulness  ofsin>  Let  your  exhortation 
proceed  ftom  conipasisiiQn  and  love.    To  jeer  and 
scoff,  to  rail  and  vilify,  is  not  a  likdy  way  to  reform 
men,  or  convert  them  to  God.    Go  to  poor  stnaers 
with   tears   in  your  eyes,  that  they  may  see  yo« 
believe  them  to  be  miseifable,  and  that  you  un- 
leignedly  pity  th^ir  case.     I>eal  with  them  with 
earnest  humble  eptreatie**    Let  thejaa  perceive,  it  is 
the  desire  of  your  hearts>  to  do  thieixi<  good;  that 
you  have  nO"  Qithep  end  bii(t  their  everlasting  hap^ 
pities^;  and  that  ii  is  your  sease  of  their  danger^ 
SKHid  youT  love  to  their  souls  that  foreetb  you  to 
speak;  even  because;  yoM<£ru)w  thei  terrors  of  the 
iamdy  aad  for  fear  you  Sih0ul4  see  them  in  eteirnal , 
*  Pfov.  jii.  as.  tHebbiiulS. 

TO   EXCITE    OTHERS    TO  SEEK   THIS    REST.    167 

torments.  Say  to  thiem,  "  Ffiend,  you  know  I  seek 
no  advantage  of  my  own:  the  method  to  please 
you,  and  keep  your  fritendship,  were  to  sooth  you 
in  your  way,  or.  let,  you  alone;  but  love  will  not 
suffer  me  to  see  you  perish,  and  be  silent.  I  seek 
nothing  at  your  hftnds,  but  that  which  is  necessary 
to  your  own  happiness/ It  is  yourself  that  will 
have  the  gain  and  comfort,  if  you  come  to  Christ." 
If  we  were  thus  to  go  to  every  ignorant  and  wicked 
neighbour,  what  blessed  frmt  should  we  quickly 
see!— Po  it  with  all  possible  plainness  and  faithful- 
ness. I>o  not  make  their  sins  less  than  they  are, 
nor  encourage  them  in  a  false  hope.  If  you  see  the 
case  dangerous,  speak  plainly ;  "  Neighbour,  I  am 
afraid  God  hath  not  yet  renewed  your  soul;  T  doubt 
you  are  not  yet  recovered  from  ike  power  of  Satan 
to-  God;  I  doubt  you  hav?  not  chosen  Christ  above 
all,  nor  unfeignedly  taken  him  for  your  sovereign 
Lord.  .If  you  bad,  surely  you  durst  not  so  easily 
disohey  him,  nor  neglect  his  worship  in  your  family, 
and  in.  public ;  you  could  not  so  eagerly  follow  the 
mrorld,  and  talk  of  nothing  but  the  things  of  the 
world.  If  you  were  in  Christ,  you  would  be  a  new 
creature;  old  things  would  be  passed  (xway^  amd  all 
tMngs  viovSA.  become  new :  You  would  have  new 
thoughts,  new  talk,  new  company,  new  endeavours, 
and  a  new  conversation.  Certainly,  without  these 
you  can  never  be  saved  :  you  may^  think  otherwise^ 
and  hope  otherwise  as  long  as  you  will,  butyourhopes 
will  all  deceive  you,  and  perish  with  you."  Thus  must 
you  deal  faithfully  with  men,if  ever  you  intend  to  do 
them  good.  It  is  not  in  curing  men's  souls,  as  in  curing 
their  bodies,  where  they  must  not  know  their  danger, 
Ilest  it  hinder  the  cure*  They  are  herei  agents  in  their 
own  cure;  and  if  they  know  not  their  nusery,  they 

168  T:^<E    DUtY    OF    THE    PEOPIiE    Ol!i..GOP         ^ 

Mrill  never  hewijil it, taork'aow  their  needof  a.Saviour- 
Do  it  also  seriously,  zealouslyj  ^nd  effectually. 
Labour  t&  nalake  meiivUriow  that  .heaven  and  hell; 
are  not  matters  to  be,  played  with,  or  passed  over 
with  a  few  careless  Jtfaou'ghts.  "ItiS'raost  certain, 
that  one  of  these  days  thou  shalt  besin  everlasting 
joy  or  torment;;  and  doth  it  not,  awaken  thee.  Are 
there  so  few. that  find  ,the  >way  of  life?  So  many 
that  go . the  way  of  death?  '  Is  it  so  hard  to  escape?- 
sd  easy  to- miscarry?  and  yet  do  yoU-sit  still  dnd 
trifle?  What  do  you  mean?  Tbeworid  is^^as^ing 
away:  its  pleasures,  honours, 'and  profits  are  fa'ding' 
and  leaving  you::  eternity,  is  a  little  before  you  f 
God  is  just  and  jealous  :  his  threatentngs  are  true: 
the  grea^  day  will  be  terrible :  time  runs  on  >:  your 
life  is  uncertain  :  you  are  far  behindhand  lyourcase, 
is  dangerous :  if  ypu  die  to-morrow,  how  uhready 
are  you!  With  what  terrop  will  your  souls  goi  out 
of  your  bodies!  And  do  you  yet  loiter?  Consider] 
Grod  is  all  this  while  waiting  your  leisure  :j<his 
patience  bearelh :  his  long-suffering  forbeareth  :  bis 
mercy  entreateth  you  s-  Christ  off^eth  you  his  blood 
and  merits :  the  Spirit  is  persuading :  conscience  is 
accbsiiig:' Satan  waits  to  have  you..  This  is  your 
time,  now  or  never.  Had  you  rather  bum  in  hell, 
than  repent  on  earth? -have  devils  your  tormentorsj. 
than  Christ  your  governor?  Will  you  renounce  your 
part  in  God  and  glory,  rather  than  renounce  your 
sins?  O  friendsj  what  do  you  think  of  these  things? 
God  hath  made  you  men  ;  do  not  renounce  your 
feason  where  you  •  should  ehiefly  use  it."  Alas!  it 
is  not  a  few  dull  word^  between  Jest  and  earnest/ 
between  sleep  and  awake,  that  will  rouse,  a  dead-J 
hearted  sinner.  If  a  house  be  on  firej  yoa  V?ill  not 
tjnake  a  cold  oration  on   the  nature  and'dangcr'O* 

TO    EJtCITE   OTHERS   TO  IeEK   THIS    REST.   169 

fire,  but  will  run  and  cry,  fire!  fire!  To  tell  a  man 
of  his  ains  as  softly  as  Eli  did  his  sons;  or  to 
reprove  him  as  gently  as  Jehoshaphat  did  Ahab,  I^t 
not  the  king  sm/  so;  usually  doth  as  much  harm 
as  good.  Loathness  to  displease  men,  makes  us  undo 

^6.  Yet,  lest  you  run  into  extremes,  I  advise 
you  to  do  it  with  prudence  and  discretion. — Choose 
the  fittest  season.  Deal  not  with  men  when  they 
are  in  a  piassion,  or,  where  they  wilt  take  it  for  a 
disgrace.  When  the  earth  is  soft,  the  plough  will 
enter.  Take  a  man  when  he  is  under  affliction,  or 
newly  impressed  under  a  sermon.  Christian  faith- 
fulness requires  us,  not  only  to  do  good  when  it  falls 
in  our  wa'y,  but  to  watch  for  opportunities.  Stut 
yourselves  also  to  .the  quality  and  temper  of  the 
person.  You  must  deal  with  the  ingenious  more  by 
argument  than  persuasion.  There  is  need  of  both 
to  the  ignorant.  The  afiTections  of  the  convinced' 
should  be  chiefly  excited.  The  obstinate  mu$t  be 
sharply  reproved.  The  timorous  must  be  dealt  with 
tenderly.  Love  and  plainness,  and  seriousness,  take 
^ith  all;  but  words  of  terror  some  can  scarce  bear. 
Use  also  the  aptest  expressions.  Unseemi^ig  language 
makes  the  hearers  loath  the  food  they  should  live 
by ;  especially  if  they  be  men  of  curious  ears,  and 
carnal  hearts'.— <Let  all  your  reproofs  aiid  exhortations 
be  backed  with  the  authority  of  God.  Let  sinnersi 
be  convince^,  that  you'  speak:  not  of  your  own  head. 
Turn  them  to  the  very  chapter  and  verse  where  their 
sin  is  condemned,  9sid  their  duty  commanded.  The 
voice  of  man  is  contemptible,  but  the  voice  of  God 
is  awful  and  terrible.  They  may  feject  your  words, 
that  dare  not  ceject  the  words  of  the  Almighty .>-« 
Be  frequent  with  men  in  tbb  duty  of  exhortation. 



If  we  Ate  always  to  pray,  and  not  to  faint,  because 
God  will  \\2kfe  us  importunate  with,  himself;  'the 
same  course,  no  doubt,  will  be' most  prevailing  with 
men.  Therefore  we  are  commanded  to  ea?fc)rif  one 
hiibther'  daily,;*  and  with  all  long-siiffering.^  The 
fire  is  not  always  brought  out  of  jhe  flint  at  one 
stroke;  nor  men's  affections  kindled  at  the  first  ex- 
hortation. And  if  fhey  were,  yet  if  they  be  not 
followed,  they  will  soon  grow  cold  again.  Follow 
sinners  with  Jour  loving'  and  earnest  ientreaties, 
and  give  them  no'  rest  in  their  sin.  This  is  true 
charity,  the  y^iay  to  save  men's  souls,  and  will  afford 
you  comfort  upon  review. — Strive  to  briiig  all  your 
Exhortations  to  an :  issue.  IJf  we  speak  thd  tno^t 
convincing  words,  and  all  our  care  is  over  with  oar 
speech,  we  shttll  seldom  prosper  in  our  labours: 
but  God  usually' blesses  their  labours,  whose  very 
.heart  is  set  upon  the  conversion  of  their  heaters, 
and  who  are  therefore  inquiring  after  the  success  of 
their  work.  If  you  reprove  a  sin,  cease  not  till  the 
sinner  promises  ybu  to  leave  it,  and  avoid  the  oc- 
casion of  it.  If  you  are  exhorting  to  a  duty,  urge 
for  a  promise  to  set  upon  it  presently.  If  you  would 
drdw  men  'to  Christ,  leave  riot  till  you  have  tnade 
them  confess  the  misery  of  their  present  uiiregene- 
rate  state,  ahd  the  n'ecessity  of  Christ,  and  of  a 
change,  and  have  promised  you  to  fall  close  to  the 
use  of  means.  O  that  all  Christiaiis  would  take  thi$ 
course  with  all  their  neighbours  that  are '  eiislaved 
to  sin,  and  strangers  to  Christ! — -Orice  more,  be 
sure  your  ex'anaple  exhort  as  well  as  your  v^ords. 
Let*  them  see  you  constant  in  all  the  duties  ybu 
persuade  them  to.  Let  thfena  see  in  your  lives  that 
superiority  to  the  world  which  your  lips  recommend." 
*  Heb.  iii.  V3.  fa  Tini.  iv.  i. 


Let  them  see,  by  your  constant  labours  for  heaven, 
that  you  indeed,  beli€(ve  what  you  would  have  them 
believe.  .,A  holy  apd  heavenly  life  is  a  continual 
pain  to  the  consciences  of  sinners  around  you,  and 
continually  solicits  them  ;to  change  their  course. 

§  7.  (3.)  Besides  the  duty  of  private  admbnition, 
you  must  endeavour  to  help. men  to  profit  by  the 
public  ordinances.  In  order  to  that,— •endeavour  to 
procure  for  them  faithful  ministers,  where  they  are 
Wanting.  Hme  shall  they  hear  without  a  preacher?* 
Improve  your  interest  and  diligence  to  this  end,  till 
you  prdyail.  Extend  your  purses  to  the  utmost. 
Hiciw  many  souls  may  be  saved  by  the  ministry  you 
have  procured!  It  is  a  higher  and  nobler  charity, 
than  relieving  their  bodies.  What  abundance  of 
good  might  great  men  do,  if  they  would  support, 
in  academical  education,  such  youth  as  they  have 
first,  carefully  chosen  for  their  integrity  and  piety, 
till  they  should  be  fit  for  the  ministry! — And  when 
a  faithful  ministry  is  obtained,  heilp  poor  souls  to 
receive  the  fruit  of  it.  Draw  them  constantly  to 
attend  it.  Remind  them  often  wliat  they  Have  heard; 
and,  if  it  be  possible,  let  them  hear  it  repeated  in 
their  families,  or  elsewhere.  Promote  their  frequent 
meeting  together,  besides  publicly  in  the  congrega- 
tion; not  as  a  separate  church,  but  as  a  part  of  the 
church,  more  diligent  than  the  rest  in  redeeming 
iime,  and  helping  the  souls  of 'each  other  heaven- 
ward. .Labour  also  to  keep  -  the,  ordinances  and 
ministry  in  esteem.  No  man, will  be  much  wrought 
on  by  that  which  he  despiseth.  An  apostle  says, 
We  beseech  you,  brethren,  to  knqw^  them  who  labour 
among  you,  und  are  over  you  in  the  Lord,,  and 
*  Rom.  X.  14. 

172        THE    DUTY   OF   THE   PEOPLE   OF   GOD 

admonish  you;  and  to  esteem  theth  nery  highly  in 
hoe  for  their  work's  sake* 

§  8.  /(II.)  Let  us  now  a  little  inquire,  what  may 
be.the  causes  of  the  gross  neglect  of  this  duty;  that 
the  hinderances  being  discovei|red,  may  the  more 
'esisily  be  overcome.  —  One  hinderance  is,,  men'9 
own  sin  "and  guilt.  They  have  not  themselves  been 
ravished  with  heaveiily  delights;  how  then  should 
they  draw  others  so  earnestly  to  seek  them,  ?'  They 
have  not  felt  their  own  lost  conditiofi,  nor  thejr  need 
of -Ghrist,  nor  the  renewing  work  of  the  Spirit; 
how  then  can  they  discover  these  to  others  ?.  Thqy 
are  guilty  of  the  siins  they  should  reprove,  and  this 
makes  them  ashamed  to  reprove. — Another  is,  a 
secret  infidelity  prevailing  in  men's  hearts.  Did 
we  verily  believe,  that  all  the  unregenerate  and 
unholy  shall  be  eternally  tormented,  how  could  we 
hold  our  tongues,  or  avoid  butsting  into-tears,  when 
we  look  them  in  the  fdce,  especially  when  they  are 
ou^near  and  dear  friends  ?  Thus  doth  secret  unbelfef 
consume  the  vigour  of  each 'grace,  and  duty.  .  O 
Christians,  \l  you  did  verily  believe  that  your  un- 
godly neighbours,  wife,  husband,  or  child,  should 
certainty  lie  for  ever  in  hell,  except  they  be  thoroughly 
changed  before  death  shall  snatch  them  away,  would 
not  this  make  you  address  them  day  and  night  ti|I 
they  were  persuaded?  Were  it  not  for  this  cursed 
linbelief,  our  own  and  our  neighbours' souls  would ' 
gain  more  by  us  than  they  do. — ^Tbese  attempts  are 
also  much  hindered  bjr  our  want  of  charity ,  and 
compassion  for  men's  souls.  We  look  on  miserable 
souls,  andyass  inf,  as  the  priest  and  Levite  by  th& 
wounded  man.  What  though  the  sinner,  wounded 
by  sin,  and  captivated  by  Satan,  do  not  desire  thy 

t  1  Thess.  V.  18;  13. 

TO   EXCITE    0THEB8  TO   SEEK   THIS   ftEST.    173 

help  himself;  yet  his  misery  cries  aloud.  If  God  had 
not  heard  the  cry  of  our  miseries,  before  he  heard 
the  cry  of  our  prayers,  and  been  moved  by  his  own 
pity  before  he  was  movfed  by  our  importunity,  we 
tnight  long  have~continued  the  slaves -of  Satan.  You 
will  pray  to  God  for  them 'to  open  their  eyes,  and 
turn  their  hearts ;  and  why  not  endeavour  their 
conversion,  if  you  desire  it  ?  And  if  you  do  not 
desire  it,  why  do  you  ask  it?  Why  do  you  not 
pray  them  to  consider  and  return,  as -well  as  pray 
to  God  to  .convert  and  turn  them }  If  you  should 
see  your  neighbour  fallen  into  a  pit,  and  should  pray 
to  God  to  help  him  out,  but  neither  put  forth  your 
hand  to  help'him,  nor  once  direct  him  to  help  himself, 
would  not  any  man  censure  you  for  your  cruelty 
and  hypocrisy }  It  is  as  true  of  the  soul  as  the 
body.  If  any  man  seeth  his  brother  have  need,  and 
shutteth  up  his  bowels  of  compassioH  from  'him,  how 
jdwelleth  the  love  of  God  in  him?  Or  what  love 
iiath  he  to  his  brother's  soul  I — We  are  also  hindered 
by  a  base,  man-pleasing  disposition.  We  are  so 
desirous  to  keep  in  credit  and  favour  with  men, 
that  it  makes  us  most  unconscionably  neglect  our 
own  duty.  He  is  a  foolish  and  unfaithful  physician 
that  will  let  a  sick  man  die  for  fear  of  troubling  him. 
If  our  frienda  are  distracted,  we  please  them  in 
nothing  that  tends  to  their  hurt.  And  yet  when 
they  are  beside  themselves  in  point  of  salvation, 
and  in  their  madness  posting  on  to  damnation,  we 
will  not  stop  them,  for  fear  of  displeasing  fhem. 
How  can  we  be  Christians  that  love  the  praise  of 
men  more  than  the  praise  of  God?  For  if  we  seek  to 

fkdse  men,  we  shall  not  be  the  servants  of  Christ. — 
t  is  common  to  be  hindered  by  sinful  bashfulness. 
When  yrs  should  shame  men  out  of  their  sins,  we 

174         THE    DUTY   OF    THE    PEOPLE    OJP    GOD 

are  ourselves  ashamed  of  our  duties.  May  not  t|:)e8e 
sinuers  condemn  us,  when  they  blush  not  to  swear^ 
litey  drunk,  or  neglect  the  worship  of  Gpd;  and  we 
blush,  to  tell  them  of  it,  and  persuade  them  from 
it }  Bashfulness  is  unseemly  in  cases  of  necessity. 
It  is  not  a  wotk  to  be  ashamed  of,  to  obey  Grod  in 
persuading  men  from  their  sihs  to  Christ,  Readejr, 
hath  not  thy  consqience  told  thee  of.  thy  duty  many 
9  time,  and  put  thee  on  to  speak  to  poor  sinners; 
and  yet  thou  hast  been  ashamed  to  open  thy  mouth, 
and  so  let  them  alone  to  sink  or  swim?  O  read  and 
tremble,  Whosoever  shall  he  ashamed  of  me,  and  of 
my  words,  in  this  adulterous  and  sinful  generation, 
of  him  also  shall  the  Sort  of  man  be  ashamed,  when  he 
toTneth  in  the  ghry  of  his  Father,  with  the^  holy 
angels.*  An  idle  and  impatient  spirit  hindereth  us. 
It  .is  an  ungrateful  work,  and  sometimes  makes  men 
our  enemies.  Besides,  it  seldom  succeeds  at  the  first, 
except  it  be  followed  on.  You  must  be  long  teaching 
the  ignorant,  and  persuading  the  obstinatei.  We 
Consider  not  what  patience  God  used  towards  us 
when  we  were  in  our  sins.  Woe  to  us  if  God  had 
been-  as  iinpatient  with  us  as  we  are  with  others. 
Another  hind^rance  is,  self-seeking.  All  seek  their 
own,  not  the  things  which  are  Jesu^  Chrisfs^,  and 
their  brethren's. — With  many,  pyide  is  a  great  im- 
pediment. If  it  were  to  speak  to  a  great  man,  and 
it  would  not  displease  him,  they  would  do  it;  biit 
to  go  among  the  I  poor,  and  take  pains  with  thern 
in  their  cottages,  where  is  the  person  that  will  do 
it?  Many  ^ill  rejoice  in  being  instrumental  to 
convert  a  gentleman,  and  they  have  gdod  reason; 
but  overlook  the  multitude,  as  if  the  souls  of  -  all 
were  not  alike  to  God.  Alas,  these  men  little  consider 

*  Mark  viii.  38.  Phil.  ii.  21. 

TO    EXCITE   OTHERS   TO   StEK    THIS   REST.    175 

how  low  Christ  stooped  to  us !  Few'  rich  and  noble, 
and  toise  are  catted.  It  is  the  poor  that  receive  th6 
glad  tidings'  of  the  gospel. — And  with  some,'  theij 
ignorance  of  the  duty  hindereth  them  fromperi 
formirig  it.  Either  they  know  it  not  to  be  a  dutyj 
or'  at  least  not  to •  be  their  duty^  If  this  be  thy 
case,  Reader,'!  am  in'hopethou  iart  now  acquainted 
with  thy  duty,  and  will  set  upon  it. 

§  9.  ,  Db  not  'Object  to  this  duty,  that  you  are 
unable  to'  matiage^  an  Exhortation  ;  but  either  set 
those  on  the  work  who  are  more  able,  ot  faithfully 
and  humbly  use  the  small  ability  you  have,  anc} 
tell  them,  as  ^  weak  man  may  do,  what  God  says 
in  his  word. — Decline  not  the  duty,  because  it  is 
youT  superior  who  needs  advice  and  exhortation,. 
Ordef  must  be  dispensed  with  in  cases  of  necessity. 
Though  it  bie  a  husband,  a  parent,  a  minister,  you 
must  teach  him  in  such  a  case,  If  parents  are  in 
want,  children  riiust  relieve  them.  If'a  husband 
be  sick,  th6  wife  must  fill  up  his  place  in  family 
affairs.  '  If'  the  rich  are  reduced  to  beggary,  they 
must  receive  chairity.  If  the  physician  be  sicki 
somebody  must  look  to  him:  So  the  meanest  ser- 
vant must  admonish  his  master,  and  the. child  his 
parent,  and  the  wife  her  husband,  and  the  people 
their  ministelr;  so  that  it  be  done  when  there  is 
real  need,  and  with  till  poJssibte  humility,  modestyi 
and  meekness. — Db  not  say,  this  will  make  us  ia/l 
preachers;  for  every  good , Christian  is  a  teachef^ 
and  has  a  charge  of  his  neighbour's  soul.  Every 
man  is  a  physician,  when  a  regular  physician  cannot 
be  had,  and  when  the  hurt  i§  so  small  that  any 
man  miy  relieve  it;  ^nd  in  the. same  cases  every 
man  must  bq  a  teacher.— Do  not  despair  of  success. 
Cannot  Go^  giye  it^  And  must  it  not  be  by  means? 


—Do  not  plead;  it  will  only  be  casting  pearls  before 
swine.  When  you  are  in  danger  to  be  torn  in  pieces, 
Christ  would  h?ive  you  forbear;  but  what  is  that 
to  you  that  are  in  no  such  danger?  As  long  as 
they  will  .bear,  you  have  .encouragement  to  speak, 
and  may  not  cast  them  off  as  contemptible  swine. 
■ — Say  not,  "It  is  a  friend  on  whom  I  much  depend, 
and  by  telling  him  his  sin  and  misery,  I  may  lose 
bis  love,  and  be  undone.''  Is  his  love  more  to  be 
valued  than  his  safety?  or  thy  owii  benefit  by  him, 
than  the  salvation  of  his  soul?  or  wilt  thou  con- 
nive at  his  damnation  because  he  is  thy  friend? 
Is  t4iat  thy  best  requital  of  iiis  friendship ?  Hadst 
thou  father  he  should  burn  in  hell  for  ever,  than 
thou  shouldst  lose  his  favour,  or  the  maintenance 
thou  hast  from  him?  . 

^  10.  (III.)  But  that  all  who  fear  God  may  be 
excited  to  do  their  utmost  to  help  others  to  this 
blessed  rest,  let  me  entreat  you  to  consider  the  fol« 
lowing  motives.  As,  for  instance, — npt  only  nature, 
but  especially  grace,  disposes  the  soul  to  be  coQi- 
municative  of  good.  Therefore  to  neglect  this  work 
is  a  sin  both  against  nature  and  grace.  Would  you 
not  think  him  unnatural  that  would  suffer  hischildreii 
or  lieighbours  to  starve  in  the  streets,  while  he  has 
provision  at  hand  ?  And.  is  m>t  he  more  unnatural, 
that  will  let  them  eternally  perish,  and  not  open 
his  mouth  to  save  them  ?  An  unmerciful,  cruel  man, 
is  a  monster  to  be  abhorred  of  all./  If  God  had 
bid  you  give  them  all  your  estates,  or  lay  down 
your  lives  to  save  them,  you  would; surely  have 
refused,  when  you  will  not  bestovv  a  little  breath 
to  save  them.  Is  not  the  soul  of  a  husband,  or 
wife,  or  child,  or  neighbour,  worth  a  few  words? 
Cruelty  to  men's  bodies  is  a  most  damnable  sin ; 

TO    EXCITE    OTHERS    TO   SEEK    THIS    REST.    177 

but  to  their  souls  much  more,  as  the  soul  is  of  greater 
worth  than  the  body,  and  eternity  than  time.  Little 
know  you  what  many  a  soul  may  now  be  feeling  in 
heU,  vvho^died  in  their  ^ihs,  for  want  of  your  faithful 
admonitipn. — Consider  what  Christ  did  towards  the 
saving  of  souls.  He  thought  them  worth  his  blood  ; 
and  shall  we  not  think  them  worth  our  breath  ?  '  Will 
you  not  do  a  little  where  Christ  hath  done  so  much? 
— Consider  objects  of  pity  ungodly  people 
are.  They'are  dead  in  trespasses  and-sins,  have  not 
hearts  to  feel  theif  miseries,  nor  to  pity  themselves.* 
If  others  do  not  pity 'them,  they  will  have  no  pity; 
for  it  is  the  naiture  of  their  disease  to  make  them 
pitiless  to  themselves,  yea,  their  own  most  cruel 
destroyers. -^Consider  it  was  once  thy  own  case.  It 
was  God's  argument  to  the  Israelites,  to  be  kind  to 
strangers,  because  themselves  had  been  strangers  in 
the  land  of  Egypt.  So  should  you  pity  them  that 
are  strangers  to  Ghfist,  and  to  thci  hopes  and  cbrnforis 
of  the  saints,  because  you  were  once  strangers  to  them 
yourselves.— ^Consider  your  relation  to  them.  It  is 
thy  neighbour,  thy  brother,  whom  thou  iart  bound 
to  love  as  thyself.  He  that  laoeth  not  his  brother 
whom  he  seeth  daily,  doth  not  love  God  whom  he  never 
Sim.  And  doth  he  love  his  brother  that  will  see  him 
go  to  hell,  and  never  hinder  him  ? 

§  11.— Consider  what  a  load  of  guilt-  this  neglect 
lays  upon  thy^  own  soul.  Thou  art  guilty  of  the 
murder  and  damnation  of  all  those  souls  whom  thou 
dost  thus  neglect ;  and  of  every  sin  they  now  commit, 
and  of  all  the  dishonour  done  to  God  thereby;  and 
of  all' those  judgments  which  their  sins  bring  upon 
the  town  or  country  where  they  live.— rConsider 
what  if  will  be,  to  look  upon  your  poor  friends  in 
eternal  flames,  and  to  think  that  your, neglect  was 

A  A  • 

178         THE    DUTY    or    THE    PEOPLE    OS    GOD 

a  great  cause  of  it.  .  If  you  should  there  perish  with 
thefla,  it  would  be  no  sm^U  aiggravatioiB:  qf  your 
torment.  If  you  be  in  heaven,  it  would 
a  sad  thought,  were  it  possible  that  any  sorrow  could 
dwell  there,  to  hear  a  multitude  of  poor  souls  cry  out 
for  ever,  "  O,  if  you  would  but  have  told  me  plainly 
of  my  sin  and  dagger,  and  set  it  home,  T  might  have 
escaped  'all  this  torment,  and  been  now  in^  rest!" 
What  a  sad  voice  jivill  this  be !— Consider  what  a  joy 
it  will  be  in  heaven,  to  meet  those  there,  whom  you 
have  been  the  means  to  bring  thither.  To  see  their 
faces,  and  join  with  them  for  ever  in  the  praises 
ojf-God,  whom  you  were  the  happy  instruments  of 
bringing  to  the  knowledge  and  obedience  of  Jesus 
Christ  '.—Consider  how  many  souls  you  may  have 
drawn  into  the  way  of  damnation,  or  hardened  iu  it. 
We  have  had,  in  thedays  of  our  ignorance,  our  com- 
panions in ,  sin,  whom  we  incited,  or  encouraged. 
And  doth  it  not  become  us  to  do  as  much  to  save 
men,  as  we  have  done  to  destroy  them  ?; — Consider 
hbw  diligent  are  all  the  enemies  of  these  poor  souls 
to  draw  them  to  hiell.*  The  devil  is  tempting  themi 
day  and  night:  their  inward  lusts  are  still  working  for 
their  ruin :  the  flesh  is  still  pleading,  for  its.  delights : 
their  old  companions  are  increasii^g  their  dislike  of 
holiness.  And  if  nobody  be  diligent  in  helping  them 
to  heaven,  whsit  is  like  to  becotae  of  them  I 

§  12.  Consider  how  deep, the  neglect  of  this  duty 
will  wound,  when  conscience  is  awakened.  When 
a  man  comes  to  die,  conscience^  will  ask  him,  *'  -What 
good  hast  thou  done  in  thy  lifetime  ?  The  saving  of 
souls  is  the  greatest  good  work  ;  what  hast  thou  done 
towards  it?  How  many  hast  thouj  dealt  faithfully 
with  ?"  I  have  often  observed  that  the  consciences  of 
dying  men  very  rnuch  wounded  them  for  this  omission. 

TO   EXCITE   OTHERS   TO    SEEK    THIS    REST.   179 

For  my  own  part,  when  I  have  been  near  death,  my 
conscience  hath  accused  me  more  for  this  than  for  any 
sin :  It  would  bring  every  ignorant  profane'  neighbour 
to  Biy  remembrance,  to  whom  I  never  made  known 
their  danger.  It  would  tell  me,  •'  thou  shouldst  have 
gone  to  them  in  private,- and  told  them  plainly  of 
their  desperate  danger,  though  it  had  been  when  ttfou  ' 
shouldst  have  eaten  or  slept,  if  thou  hadst  no  other 
time."  Conscience  would  remind^  me  how  at  such 
brsuch  a  time  Iwas  in  company  with  the  Ignorant,  or 
<vas  riding  by  the  way  with  a  wilful  sinner,  and  had 
a  fit  opportunity  to  have  dealt  with  him,  but  did  not; 
or  at  least  did  it  to  little  purpose.  The  Lord  grant 
I  may  better  obey  cons9ience  while  1  have  time,  that 
it  may  have  less  to  accuse  me  of  at  death  ! — Consider 
what  a  seasonable  time  you  now  have  for  this  work. 
There  are  times  in  which  it  is  not  safe  to  speak;  it 
may  cost  you  your  liberties  or  your  lives.  Besides, 
jrour  neighbours  will  shortly  die,  and  so  will  you. 
Speak  to  them,  therefore,  while  you  may.ri^Consider, 
though  this  is  a  work  of  the  greatest  chairity,  yet  every 
one  of  you  may  perfbrrii  it.  The  poorest  as  well  as 
jthe  rich.  Every  one  hath  a  tongue  to  speak  to  a 
sinner. — Once  more,  consider  the  happy  consequences 
of  this  work  where  it  is  faithfully  done.  You  may 
be  instrumental  in  saving  souls^  for  which  Christ 
came  down  and  died,  and  in  which  the  atigels  of  God 
rejoice.  S^ich  souls  will  bless  you  here  apd  hereafter. 
God  will  have  much  glory  by  it.  The  church  will  he 
multiplied  and  edified  by  it.  Your  own  souls  will 
enjoy  more  improvement  and  vigour  in  a  divine  life, 
more  peace  of  conscience,  more  rejoicing  in  spirit. 
Of  all  the  personal  mercies  that  I  ever  received,  next 
to  the  iQve  of  God  in  Christ  to  my  oWn  soul,  I  >must 
fiiost  joyfully  blesis  him  for  the  plentiful  success  of  my 

180         THE    DUTY    Of    THE    PEOPLE    OP    QOD 

endeavours  upon  others.  O  what  fruits  theq  might 
I  have  seen,  if!  had  been, more  faithful  1  .1  know  we 
need  be  very  jealous  of  bur  deceitful,  hearts  in  this 
poiot,  lestour,  rejoicing  should  come  from  our  pride. 
Naturally  we  would  have  the  praise,  of 'every  good 
work  ascribed  to  ourselves :  yet  to  imitate,  our -Father 
in  goodness  and  merpy,  and  to  rejoice  in  the  degree 
of  them  we  attain  to,  is  the  duty  of  every  child  of 
God. '  I  therefore  tell  you  my  own  experience,  to 
persuade,  you,  that  if  yOu  did  but  know  vwhat  a  joyful 
thing  it  is,  you  "would  followr  it  night  and  day  through 
the  greatest  discouragements.  ■  ,   . 

§  13.  IJp  then,  every  man  that  hath  a  tongue,  and 
is  a  servant  of  Christ,  and  do  something  of  your 
Master's  work.  Why  hath  he  given  you  a  tongue, 
but  to  speak  in  his  service  ?  .And  how  can  you  serve 
him  more  eminently,  than  in. saving  souls?  He  that 
will  pronounce,  you  blessed  at  the  last  day,  and  in-vite 
you  to  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you,  because  you 
fed  him^  and  clothed  him,  and  visited  him,  in  his  poor 
members,  will  surely  pronounce  you  blessed  for  so 
great  a  work  as^  bringing  souls  to  his  kingdom.  He 
that  saith,  the  poor  you  have  always  with  you,  hath 
left  the  ungodly  always  with  you,  that  you  might 
Still  have  matter  to  exercise  your  charity  upon.  If 
you  have  the  hearts  of  Christians  or  of  men,  let  them.^ 
yearn  towards  your  ignorant,  ungodly  neighbours. 
Say  as  the  lepers  of  Samaria,  We  do  vat  well;  thisi 
d(fy  is  a  day  of  good  tiding^^  imd  we  hold  our  peace. 
Hath  God  had  so  ntiuch  mercy  on  you,  and  will  you 
have'  no  mercy  on  ydax  poor  neighbours  ? — But  as 
this  duty  belongs  to  all  Christians,  so  especially  to 
some,  according  as  God  hath  called  them  to  it,  of 
qualified  them  for  it.  To  them  therefore  I  will  mor§  - 
jiarticiilarly  address  the  exhortation. 

TO   EXCITE    OTHERS    TO    SKEK   THIS   REST.    181 

§14.  God  especially  expects -this  duty  at  yojjr 
hands  to  whom  he  hath  given  more  learning,  and 
knowledge,  and  endued  with  better  utterance,  than 
your  neighbours.  The  strong  are  made  to  help  the 
iveak ;  and  those  that  see  must  direct  the  blind. 
God  looketh  for  this  faithful  inrprovement  of  your 
parts  and, gifts,  which,  if  you  neglect,  it  were  better 
you  had  tiever  received  them ;  for  they  will  but 
aggravate  your  condemnation,  and  be  as  useless  to 
your  own  salvation  as, they  were  to  others, 

§  15.  AH  those*that  are  particularly  acquainted 
with  some  ungodly  men,  and  that  have  p&culiar  in* 
terest  in,  them,  God  looks  for  this  duty  at  your  hands. 
Christ  himself  did  eat  and  drink  with  publicans  and 
sinners;  but  it  was  only  to  be  their  physician,  and  not 
their  companion.  Who  knows  but  God-  gave  you 
interest  in  them  to  this  end,  that  you  inight  be  the 
means  of  their  recovery  ?  They  that  will  pot  regard 
the  words  of  a  stranger,,  may  regard  a  brother,  or  sister, 
or  husbands  or  wife,  or  near  .friend ;  besides  that  the, 
bond  of  friendship  engageth  you  to  more  kindness 
and  compassioa  than  ordinary,  , 

§  16^  Physicians  that  are  much  about  dying  men, 
should  in  a  special  manner  make :Con8cience  pf  this 
duty.  It  >is  their  peculiar  advantage,  that  they  are 
at  hand;  that  they  are  with  men  in  sickness  and 
dangers,  when  the  ear  is  more  open,  and -the  heart 
less  stubborn  than  in  time  of  health ;  and  that  mea 
look  upon  their  physician  as  a  person  in  i^hose  hands 
is  their  life ;  or  at  least,  who  may  do  much  to  save 
them-;  and  therefore  they  will  the  more  regard  his, 
advice.  You  that  are  of  this  honoutable  profession^, 
^o  not  think  this  a  work  beside  your  calling,  as  if  it 
ijelonged  to  none  but  ministers ;  except  you  thmk 
jt  l^eside  your  calling  to  be  compassionate,  or  to  be 

182        THE    DUTY   OP   THE    PEOPLE   OP   GOD 

Christians,'  0  help  therefore  .to  fit  your  patierits  for 
heaven  I  And  whether  you  see  they  are  for  liffe  or 
death,  teach  thfetii  both  how  to  live  and  die,  and  give 
them  sotnej  physic  for  their  ^opls,  as  you  do  for  their 
bodies.  Blessed  be  God,  that  very  many  of  the  chief 
physicians  of  thisagiS  have,  by  their  eminent  pietyi 
vindicated' their  profession  from  the  common  imputa- 
tion of  athfeism  and  profaneness. 

^  17.  Men  of*  wealth  and  authority,  and  that  have 
many  dependents,  have  excellent  advantages,  for  this 
duty.  ,0  what  a  world  of  good  might  lords  and 
gentlemen  do,  if  they  had  but  hearts  to  improve 
theif  influetice  over  others  !  Rave'  ypit  not  all  your 
honour  and  riches  from' God  ?  Doth  not  Christ  say, 
■\inio  whomsoever  much  is  given,  of  him,  much  shall  bb 
Tequifed?  If  you  speak  to  your  dependents  for  God 
and  their  souls,  you  may  be  regarded,  when  ev€i>  a 
minister  shall  be  despised.  As  you  value  the  honour 
of  God,  youf  own  coriifort,  and  the  salvation  of  soiils,, 
improve  your  influence  over  your  tenants  and  neigh- 
bours ;  visit  their  housei^ ;  sfee  whether  they  Worship 
God  in  their  families ;  and  take  all  opportunities  to 
press  them  to  their  duty^.  Despise  thenii  not."  Re- 
itieniber  God .  is  ilo  respe'fcter  of  personis.  Let  men 
see  that- ypu  excel  others  in  piety,  compassion,  aiid 
diligeihce  iti  God's  work,  as  you  do  in  the  ridhes 
and  honours  of  the  world.  I  confd^s  you  will  by  thi^ 
meahf  be  singular,  but  then  you  will  be  singular  it* 
glo^y ;  for  fevV  of  thewighty  and  noble  are  called. 

^  18i  As  for  the  n»inisters  of  the  gospel,  it  is  the 
very  work  of  their  calling,  to  help  others  t6  heaven. 
—Be  sure  to  make  it  the  main  end  of  your  studies 
and  preaching.  He  is  the  able,  skilful  minister,  thaf 
is  best  skilled  in  the  art  of  instructing^,  convincingj 
persuading,  and  consequently  of  "winning  soUlS;  and 

TO    KXCITE    OTHERS   TO   SEEK   THIS    REST,    183 

that  is  the  best  sermon  that  is  best  in  these..  When 
you  seek  not  God,  but  yourselves,  God  will  make  you 
the  most  contemptible  of  men.  It  is  true  of  your 
reputation,  what  Christ  says  qf  your  life,  He  that 
loveih  it,  shall  lose  it.  Let  the  vigour  of  your  per- 
suasions show,  that  you  are  sensible  on  how  weighty 
a  business  you  are  sent.  Preach  with  that  seriousness 
»ncl  fervour,  as  jnen.  that  believe  the^ir  own  doctrin^i 
add  that  know  their  hearejrs  must  be  prevailed  with, 
or  be  damned .-^Think  not  that  all  your  work  is  in 
your  studies  and  pulpit.,  You  are  shepherds,  and 
must  know  every  sheep,  and  what  is  their  disease, 
and  mark  their  strayings^  and  help  to  cure  them,  and 
fetqh  them  home.  Learn  of  Paulj  not  only  to  teach 
your  people  publicly,  huxfrom  house  to  house.  Inquire 
how  they  grow  in  knowledge  and  holiness,  and  on 
what  grounds  they  build  their  hopes  of  salvation,  and 
whether  they  walk  uprightly,  and  perform  the  duties 
of  tbeir  several  relations.  See  whether  they  wrorship 
God  in  their  families,  and  teach  them' how  to  do  it. 
Be  familiar  with  theni,  that  yOu  may  -maintain  your 
interest  in  them,  and  improve  it  all  for  God.  Know 
of  theni  how  they,  profit  by  public  teaching.  If  any 
too  little  savofur  the  things  qf  the  Spirit,  let  them  be 
pitied,  but  not  neglected.  If  any  walk  disorderly, 
recover  them  with  diligence  and  patience.  If  they 
be  ignorant,  it  may  be  your  feult  as  much  bs  theirs. 
Be  not  asleep  while  the  wolf  is  waking.-^— Deal  not 
slightly  with  any.  Some  will  not  telL  their  people 
plainly  of  their  sins,  because  they  are  great  men;  and 
some  becausethey  are  godly ;,  as  if  none  hut  the  poor 
3nd  the  wicked  should  be  dealt  plainly  with.  Yet 
labour  to  be  skilful  and  discreet,  that  tbi^jnanner 
may.  answer  to  the  excellency  of  the  matter.  Every 
reasonable  soul  bath  both  judgment  and  affection; 

184      The  dxjiy  oi  tWe  people  of  god 

and  every  Tational,  spiritual  sermon,  must  have  both. 
Study'  and  pray,  and  pray  and  study,  till  you  are 
become  workmen  that  need  not  be  ashamed,  rightly^ 
dividing  the  word  of  truth;  that  your  people  may 
not  be  ashamed,  nor  weary  in  bearing  yon.— Let  your 
conversation  be  teaching,  as  well  as  your  doctrine. 
-Be  as-forward  in  a  holy  and  heavenly  life  as  you  are  in 
pressing  others  to  it.-    Let  your,  discourse  be  edifying 
and  spiritual.      SuflPer  any  thing,  ratjier  than   the 
gospel  and  men's  souls  should  suffer.     Let  men  see 
that  you  use  not  the  ministry  only  for  a  trade  to  live 
by ;  but  that  your  hearts  are  §et  upon  the  welfare  of 
souls;     Whatsoever  meekness,  humility,  condescen- 
sion, or  self-denial  you  teach  thein  from  the  gospel, 
teach  it  them  also  by  your  undissembled  ex£^mple. 
Study  and  strive  after  unity  and  peace.,    If  ever  you 
would  promote  the  kingdom   of  Christ,  and  your 
people's  salvation,' do  ft  in  a  way  of  ^jeace  and  love. 
It  is  as  hard  a  thing  to  maintain  in  your  people  a  sound 
understanding,  a  tender  conscience,  a  lively,  gracious, 
heavenly  frame  of  spirit,  and  an  upright  life,  amidst 
contention, -as  to  keep  your  candle  lighted  in- the 
greatest  storms.     Blessed  is  that  servant,  whom  his 
Lord,  when  he  cometh,  shall f,nd  so  doing.. . 

§  19.  AU  you  whom  God  hath  entrusted  with  the 
care  of  childi'en  and  serYants,,  I  would  also  persuade 
to  this  great  work  of  helping  others  to  the  heavenly 
rest. — Consider  what  plain  and  pressing  commands 
of  God  require  this  at  your  hands.  These  wordsdJum 
shalt  teach  diligently  unto  thy  children,  and  shalt  talk 
of  them  when' thou  sittest  in  thine  house,  and  when 
thou  walkest  by  the  way,  and  when  thou  liest,  doj^n, 
and  when  thou  risest  up*  Train  up  a  child  in  the 
way  he  should  go;  and  when  he  is  old,  he  will  not 
*  Deut,  vi.  6,' 7., 

TO    EXCITE    OTHJiRS   TO   SEEK   THIS   RE«T.    183 

^^tsttfromit*  Bfmg'^ymrcUldrmin the mrtitne 
and  admonitim  oJ[  the  IsPd.^  Josh  ua  resolved ,  'that 
he  and  his  hituse  would  serve  the  Liord.X  And  G6d 
himself  aays  of  Abrahan?,  I  know  Mm,  that  he  will 
command  kis  ehildren,  and  his  household  after  him, 
and  thetf  shall  hSep  the  -ka^  of  the  Lotd.^  Consider, 
it  is  a  duty  yott  owe  your  children  in  point  of  justice. 
From  you  they  receive  the  defilement  and  misery 
©f  rheir  natures;  and  therefore  you  owe  tliem  all 
,  possible  help  for  th^r  recovery.  Consider,  howr  hear 
your  children  are  to  y6n.  They  are  part^  of  your- 
selves. If  they  ptosper  when  you  are  dead,  yotj  take 
it  as  if  you  lived  and  f>rospered  in  them ;  %ind  should^ 
you  not  be  of  the  same  mind  for  their  «verJa»tdn^ 
rest?  Otherwise  youvirill  be  witn^ses  against  youf 
own  souls.  Your  care,  and  pains,  ahd  cost  for  theit 
bodies,  will  condemn  you  for  your  neglect  of  their 
]>peoiouB  .soU'ls.  Yea,  all  the  brute  creatures  may 
iondetnn  you;  Which  of  them  is  not  tender  of  their 
yottng'?— Consider,  God  hath  made  your  children 
your  charge,' and  your  servants  too.  Every  one  will 
confer  th<ey  are  the  minifiter'ii'charge.  And  have  not 
you  a  greater  charge  of  your  own  families,  than  any 
minister  can  have  of  them  f  Doubtless  at  your  hands 
God  will  require  the  blood  of  their  souls.  It  is  the 
greatest  chat;g^  ypu  were  ever  intrusted  with,  and  woe 
to  you,  if  you  suffer  them  to  be  ignofarit  or  wicked 
for  want  of  yoiir  instruction  or  correction. — Consider, 
what  work  there  is  foif  you  in  theii'  dispositions,  and 
lives.  Theirs  is  not  ohe  sin,  but  thousands.  They 
have  hereditary  diseases,  bred  in  their  natures.  The 
things  you  must  teach  them  are  contrary  to  the 
interests  arid  desires  of  their  flesh. ,  May  the  Lord 

*  Prov.  xxii.  6,        f  Ephes.  vi.,4.  "     $  Joshua  xsiv.  J  5. 
§  Gen.  xvifi.  19;'  ^ ''         ' 

B  B 


THE    DUTY'  OP    rH:E    PEOPI-E    OV   GOD  O 

make  you  sensible  what  a  work  and  charge, lieth  upon 
you! — Consider  what  sorrows  you  prepare  for  your- 
selves by  the  neglect  of  your  children..  If  they  prove 
thorns  in  your  eyes,  they  are  of  your  own  planting. 
If,-you  should  tcpent  and  be  saved,  is  it  nothing  to 
thipk  of  their  damnation;  and  yourselves  the  occasion 
of  it  ?,  But  if  you  die  in  your  sn[is,.how  will  they  cry 
out  agaiost  you  in  hell !  "  All  this  vvas  wrong  of  you ; 
you  should  have  taught,  us,het3^j  and  did  not;  you 
shoul4  have  restrained  us  from  sin,  and  corrected  us, 
but  did  not."    What  an  addition,  will  such  outcries 
be  tp  your  misery.     On  the  other  side,  thilnk  what  a 
comfort. you  may  have,  if  you  be, faithful  in  this  duty. 
If  you  should  not  succeed,  you  have  freed  your  own 
souls,  and  have  peace  in  your  own  consciebces.     If 
you  d&,  the  comfort  is  inexpressible,  in  their  love  and 
obedience,  their  supplyj<ng  your  wants,  and  delighting 
you  in  all  your  remaining  path  to  glory.:  Yea,  ^ 
your  family  may  fare  the  better  for  one  pious- child 
or  servant.     But  the  greatest,  when  yoi* 
shall  say,  Lord,- here  am  I,(md  the  chUdr.en  (hQvfiast 
given  me ;  and  shall  joyfully  live  with  them  for  ever. 
— Consider  how  much  the  welfiire  of  chur<:h  and  state 
depends  on  this  duty.    Good  laws  will  not  refocm  us, 
if  reformatipn  begin  not  at  home.    This-  is  the  cause 
of  all  our  miseries  in  church,  and.  state,  even  the 
want  of  a  holy  education  of  children.     I  also  entreat 
parents  to  consider,  what  excellent  advantages  they' 
have  for  saving  their  children,  i  They  are  with  you 
t"  while  they  are  tender  and  flexible.    You  have  a  tvirig 
to  bend,  not  an  oak.    None  ip,  the  vvorld  have  such 
interest  in  their  affections  as  ypu  have.     Ypu  have 
also  the  greatest  authority  over  them,    their  whole 
dependence  is  upon  yoii  for  a  maintenance.   You  best 
know  their  tempec  and  inclinations..  Arid  you  are 

^•0   SkGlTB   OTHERS   la  SEEK   tHIS   REST.    187 

ever  with  tbetta,'  and  can  never  want  opfjOrtunities : 
especially  you,  motbets,  remember" ttjisj^ Who  are  more 
with  your  children  while  young,  than  their  fathers. 
What  pains  are  you  at  for  their  bodies!  What  do  you 
Mflfer  to  bring  them  into  the  world !  Ahd  willyou  not 
be  at  as  muck  pains  for  the  saving  of  their«6ouls! 
Your  affections  are  tender ;  and  willit  not  move  you 
to  think  of  their  perishing  for  ever?  I  beseedh  you ^  for 
the  sake  of  the  children'  of  your  bowels,  teach  them, 
admonish, them,  watch  over  thenj,' and  give  them  no 
rest  till  you  have  brought  them  to  ChrisT. 

§  20.  I  shall  conclude  with  this  earnest  request  to 
all  Christian  p^ents  that  read  these  lines;  that  th^y 
would  have  compassion  on  the^eouls  of  their  poor 
children,  and  be  faithful  to  the  great  trust  that  God 
hath  put  on  them.  If  you  cannot  do  what  you  would 
for  them,  yet  do  what  you  can.  Both' church  and 
state,  city  and  countryj  groan  under  the  neglect  of 
this  weighty  duty^  Your  children  know  not  God, 
nor  his  laws,  but  take  his  name  in'vain,  and  slight  his 
worship,  and  you  neither  instruct  them  nor  correct 
them ;  and  therefore  God  cbrrects  both  them  and  you. 
You  are  so  tender  of  them,  that  God  is  the  less  tender, 
of  both  them  and  you.  Wonder  not  if  God  make 
you  smatt  foi'your  children's  sins  ;  for  you  are  guilty 
of  all  they  commit,  by  your  neglect  of  your  duty  to 
reform  them.  Will  you  resolve,  therefore,^  to  set 
upon  this  duty,  and  neglect  it  no  longer  ?  Remember 
Eli.  Your  children  are  like  Moses  in  the  bulrushes, 
ready  to  perish  if  tTiey  have  not  help.  As  ever  you 
would  not  be  charged  before  God  as  murderers  of 
their  souls,  nor  have  them  cry  out  against  you  in 
everlasting  fire,  see  that  you  teach  them  how  to  escape 
it,  and  bring  them  up  in  holiness  and  the  fearof God. 
I  charge  every  one  of'you,  upon  your  allegiance  to 

189  1h&  djjxy  of  the  PKopi-s  op  aoo,  &e. 

God,  89  yoiiiMEilJ,  vQry.  shortly  answer  the,  cpntrary  at 
your  perils :ith^ti!>fpu  will  neither  refuse  nor  .oegleet 
thi?  most  necfess^ry /duty-  If  you  ■  ^r*  wot  iwUUng  to 
do  Jt„now:you  know  it  to  he.  so  great  a  duty;,  yoB  fere 
rehpjg,  and  no  itpy e  subjects : of  Jesus  Christ;  ;If  you 
are  willing,;  feut^know  not  how,  I  will  add  a-  fewt 
words  ,of  direction  to  help  yoii.  > Lead  thena,  ;by  /jpout 
Qwq  ej^artiple,  to  prayer,  reading,  and  other  religious 
diiA,ties.,i  Infortn  their  understandings.  Store  their 
TOernoiiies..  Rectify  their  wills.  ^  Quicken  their  af- 
fections. Keep  tender' their  consciences.  Restrain 
thejr/ftQpgties,  and  teScb:  them  gracious  speech. .  Re- 
fj^rin  and  watch  overtheir  outward  conversation.  To 
ihese  ends,  get  tbeiii  Bibles  apd.  pious  books,  and  see 
that  they  read  theoftv  EKanaine  them  often  what  they 
learn  i  especially  spend  the  Lord'srday  in  this  work, 
andi&uffer  them  Bot  to  spend  it  in  sports  or.  idleness. 
Show  them  the  meaning  of  what  they  read  or  learn. 
Re.ep  ^etn  6ut;of  evil  icompariy,  and  acquaint  them 
with  jthe  godjy,,  A»d  fail  not  to  make  them  learn 
lihe.iresiteeMfiw.  Especially  show  them  the  necessity^ 
excellency,  and  pleaiure  of  servipg  God,  and  labour 
to, fix  all  upon  t.hwb^aels.. 

CHAP.  X. 

The  Saints  Beat  is  not  to  be  expected  on  Earth; 

§  1.  In  order  to  show  the  sin  and  folly  pf  expecting^est  here| 
§  2.  [T.)  the  reasonableness  of  pre$ent  a£A)Ctions  ig  considered; 
S  8.  (l.)  that  tJi'ey  are  the  way  to  rest ;  §  4.  {2.)  keip  ns  from 
mistaking  our  rest  j<§S.  (3.)  from  losing' our  way  to  it}  §6.  (4.) 
^uick^n'our  pac^  jtowSiilds  it;  §  7.  (5k)  chiefly  incommcidQ  our 
Jlesjb;  §  8,  g,  and  (6.)  tftid^  them  the  awe^test  for^taifteB  of 
rest  are  often  enjoyed.  §  1J9.  (II.)  How  unreasonable  tp  rest  in 
present  enjoyments;  g  11.*  (l.),that  it  is^ idolatry ;  §  12.  {2.ji 
that  it  contradicts  God's  end  in  giving  them;  §  13.  (3.)  is  the 
way  to  have  them  refused,  withdrawn,  or  embittered ;/^U4.. (4.) 
that  to  be  sv^ej-^  to  take  up  our  cest  here  19  the  greatest  cuirse ; 
§  15.  (5.)  that  it  is  seeking  rest  where  it  i$  not;  §  16.  (6.)  that 
the  creatures,  without  God,  would  aggravate  our  misery;  '§17. 
(7.)  and  all  thb  is  confirmed  by  experience.  §  18.  The  author 
laments  that  this-is  nevertheless  a  most  common  sin.  '§'"19 — >23. 
(in.)  How  unreasonable  our  unwillingness  to. die,  and' possess 
the  aainta'  rest,  is  largely  cansider«,d..  §  24.  The  author  apolot. 
gises  for  saying  so  much  on  this  last  head. 

'  ^  1.  We  are  not  yet  come  to  our  resting  place, 
Doth  it  remain  ?  How  great  then  is  our  sin  and  folly 
to  seek  and  expect  it  here.  Where  shall  we  find  the 
Christian  that  deserves  not  this  reptoof?  We  would 
ail  have  continual  prosperity,  because  it  is  easy  and 
plesjsing  to  the  flesh;  but  we  consider  not  the  un- 
leasonableness  of  such  desires.  And  when  we  enjoy 
convenient  houses,  goods,  lands,  and  revenues ;  or  the 
nec(&ssary  means  Odd  hath  appointed  for  our  spiritual 
good ;  we  seek  rest  in  these  enjoyments.  Whether 
we  are  in  an  afflicted  or  prosperous  state,  it  is  apparent^ 
we  exceedingly  make  the  creature  our  rest.  ,Do  we 
not  desire  creature  enjoyments  n^ore  violently,  ivhea 
we  want  them,  than  we  desire  God  himself?  Do  we 
not  delight  more  in  the  ppssessionN  of  themj  than 
.in  the  enjoy tnent  of  Gfod?     And  if  we  lose  them. 

190  THE   saints'   rem    IS/ HOT 

doth  it  not  troublp  -iis  more  than  our  loss  of  God  ? 
Is  if  not  0nougb^  that  they  are  refreshing'  helps  in 
our  way  to  heaven,  t)ut  they  must  also  be  Qiade.our 
heaven  itself?.  Christian  Reader^  I  would  as  willingly 
make  thee  sensible  of  this  sin,  as  of  any  sjn  in  the 
world,  if  I  could  tell  how  to  do  it;  for  the  Lord's 
greatest  quarrel  with  us  is  in  this  point.  In  order  to 
this,. I  most  earnestly  beseefch  thee  to  consider,— the 
reasonableness  of  present  afflictions,— -^and  the  unrea- 
sonableness of  resting  in  present  enjoyments: — As 
^Isoof  our  unwillingness  to  die,  that  we  rnay  possess 
eternal  rest. 

§'3/ (I.)  To  show  this  reasonableness  of  present 
afflictions,  consider, — they  are  the  way;  to  rest; — 
they  keep  us  froth  mistaking  our  rest,  and  from  losjng 
our  way.  to  it; — they  quicken  our  pace  towards  it; 
— they  chiefly  incommode  our  flesh ; — and  under 
them  God's  people  have  often  the  sweetest  foretastes 
of  their  rest. 

^  £f.  (1.)  '  Consider,  that  Jabour  and  trouble  are 
the  common  way  to  rest,  both  in  the  course  of 
nature  and  grace.  Can, there  possibly  be  rest  without 
weariness?  Do  you  not  travail  and  toil  first,  and 
rest  after?  The  day  for  labour  is  first,  and*  then 
follows  the  night  for  rest.  Why  should  we  desire; 
the  course  of  grace  to  be  perverted,  any  more  than 
the  course  of  nature?  It  is  an  established  decree,. 
that  we  must  through  much  tribulation  enter  into 
the  kingdom  of  God.*  And  that  if  we  suffer,-  we 
shall, also  reign  zoith  Ckrist.f  And  -what  are  we,  that 
God's  statutes  should  be  reversed  for  our  pleasure? 

^  4.  (2.)     Afflictions  are  exceeding  useful  to  us, 
to  keep  us  frorri  mistaking  our  rest.'    A  Christian's , 
motion  towards  heaven  is   voluntary,  and  not  con-- 
*  Acts  xiv.  22.  t  2  Tim.  ii.  13. 

TO  BE  EXPECTED  ON  EABTH.       191 

stvained.  Those  m^ans  thei^fore  are  most  profitable, 
which  lielp  his  understanding  and  will.  The  most 
dangerous  mistake  of  our  souls  is,  to  take  the  creature 
for  God,  and  earth  for  heaven.  What  wairm,  affec- 
tionate, eager  thoughts  have  we  of  the  World,  till 
afflictions  Cool  and  Moderate  them!  Afflictions  speak 
convincingly,  and  will  be  heard  when  Ipireachers 
cannot.  Many  a  po0r' Christian  is  sometitneis  bending 
his  thoaghts  to  wealth,  or  flesh- pleasing,  or  applause, 
and  so  loses^  his  relish  of  Christ,  and  the  joy  above; 
till  God  break  in  upon  his  riches,  or  children,  tjp 
conscience,  or  health,  and  break  down-  his  mountain 
which  he  thought  so  strong.-  And  then  when  he  iieth 
in  Mana§seh''s  fetters,  or  is  fastened  to  his  bed  with 
pining  sickness,  the  world  is  nothing,  and  heaven  is 
something.  If  our  dear  Lord  did  not  put  these  thorns 
under  our  head,  we  should  sleep  put  our  lives,  and 
lose  our  glory. 

§  5.  (3.)  Affli(;tions  are  also  God's  most  effectual 
means  to  keep  us  from  losing  our  way  to  our  rest. 
Without  this  hedge  of  thorns  on  the  right-hand  and 
left,  we  should  hardly  keep  the  way  to  heaven.  If 
there  be  but  one  gap  open,  how  ready  are  we  to  find 
it,  and  turn  out  at  it!  When  we  grow  wanton,  or 
worldly,  or  proud,  how  doth  sickness,  or  other  afflic- 
tion reduce  us !  Every  Christian,  as  well  as  Luther, 
may  call  affliction  one  of  the  best  schoolmasters; 
and  with  David  may  say,  Before  I  was  afflicted; 
I  went  astray ;  hut  novo  have  I  kept  thy  word.^.  Many 
tliousand  recovered  sinners  may  cry,  "  O  healthful 
sjcfciieSs  !  O  comfortable  sorrows  P  Q  gainful'lossejs ! 
O  enriching  poverty !  O  blessed  day  that  ever  I  was 
afflicted !"  Not  only  the  green  pastihfes,  and;  still 
vbaters,  biit  therad  arid  staff ,  tl^comf&(<tm.  Though 
*  Psalm,  cax,  67v< 

192  THE   saints'   RmV   19    NOT 

the  word  and'  Spicit  do  the.  ma!in  tVfQrk^  y&t  stiffeHpg 
so  unbolts  the  door  of  the  heart,  that  the  lyqrd  h^tb 
easier  entrance. 

^  6.  (4<y  Afflictions  likewise  serve  to  quicken  our 
pace  in  the  way  to  our  rest.  It  were  well,  if  meria 
love  wonid  prevail  with  usj,  and  that  we. were  rather 
drawi^  to  heavien,  thaD<dr>Vei).-  But  seeing  our  hearts 
are  s6  bad  that  mercy  will  not  do  it;  it  is  better  to 
be  put  on  with  tbe-s^afpest  Scourge,  than;  loiter^ 
like  the  foolish  vwgimi  till  the  door  ia^ahttt.  O  what 
a  difference  is  there  betwixt  out  praters  in  health 
and  in  sickness !  betwixt  our  repentings  in  prosper 
rity  and  adversity!  Alasj,  if  we  did  .not  sometime 
feel  the  spur,  what  a  slow  pace  would  most  of  us 
hold  toward  heaven !  Since  our  vile  natures  require 
it,  why  should  w«  be  unwilling  th«t  God  should  do 
us  good  by  sharp  means?  Judge,  Chjtistidni  whether 
tfaqu  dost  not  go  more  watchfully  and  speedily  in 
ithe,  way  to  heaiven,  in  thy  su£ferings,  than  in  l;hy 
more  pleasing  and  prosperous  state. 

^  7.  (5.)  Consider  further,  it  is  but  the  flesh  that 
is  chiefly  troubled  and  grieved  by  afflictions.  In  most 
of  our' sufferings  tjae  soul  is  free,  tmless  we  ourselves 
wilfully  afflict  it.  "Why  then,  0  my  soul,  dost  thou 
i^derwith  this  flesh,,  and  complain,  as  it  cemplainetb? 
It  should  be  thy  work  to  k^ep  it  tmder,  and  bring  it 
into  subjection;  and  if  God  do  it  for  thee,  shouldst 
thou  be  discontented?  Hath  not  the  pleasing  of  it 
heea  the  cause  of  almost  all,  thy  spiritual  sorrows  > 
Why  thi^n  may  not  the  displeasing  of  it  further  thy 
jJoy?  Must  nat'Pmlait'd  Silas  shig,  because  *Aejr 
feet  are  in  th^  stocks?  Th^r  spirits  were  not  im^ 
prisoned.  Ah,  unworthy  soul  I  is  this  thy  thanks  to 
G>^  for  preferring  the&so.  fan  before  thy  body  ?  When 
it  is  rotting  in  the  grave,  tho.ti  shalt  be  a  companion 

TO  BE  EXPECTED  ON  EAHTH.       193 

of  the  perfected  spirits  of  the  just.  In;  the  mean  time, 
hast  thou  not  consolation  which  the  flesh  knows  not 
of?     Murmur  not  then  God's  dealings  with  thy 
body :  if  it  were  for  want  of  love  to  thee,  he  would 
not  have  dealt  so  by  all  his  saints.    Never  expect 
thy  flesh  shouldtruly  expound  the  meaning  of  the 
rod;     It  will  call  love,  hatred;  and.-;say,  God  is  de- 
stroying, when  he  is  saving.  It  is  the  suffering  party, 
and  therefore  riot  fit  to,  be  the  judge."     Could  we 
once  believe  .Gbd,  and  judge  of  his  dealings  by  his 
word,  and  by  their  usefulness  tb' our  souls,  and  re- 
ference to  our  rest,   and  could   we  stop   our  ears 
against  all  the  clamours  of  the  flesh j  then  we  should 
have  a  truer  judgment  of  our  afflictions. 
>  •§  8.  (6.)     Once  more  consider,  God  seldom  gives 
his  people  so  sweet  a  foretaste  of  their  future  rest, 
as  in  their  deep  afflictions.     He  keeps  his  most  pre- 
cious cordial^  for  the  time  T)f  our, greatest  faintings 
and  dangers.     He  gives  them,  when  he  knows  the^. 
are  needed, and  will  be  valued;-  and  when  he  is  sure 
to  be  thanked  for  them,  and  his  people  rejoiced 
by  them.     Especially  when  our  sufferings  are  more 
directly  for  his  cause,  then  he  seldom  fails  to  sweeten 
the  bitter  cup.    .The   martyrs   have  possessed ,  the 
>highest  joys.     When  didi  Christ  preach  such  com- 
forts to  his  disciples,  as   when   their  hearts  were 
sorrowful  at  his  departure?     When  did  he  appear 
among  them,  and  say,  Peace  he  unto  yoM,  but  when 
they  were  sh ut  up  for  fear  of  4;he  Jews  ?     When  did 
Stephen  'see  heaven  opened,  but  when  he  was  giving 
up  his  life  for  the  testimony  of  Jesus  ?    Is  not  that 
our  best  state,  whereiri  we.  have  most  of  God  ?   Why 
else  do  we  desire  to  come  to  heaven  ?     If  we  loci 
for  a  heaven  of  fleshly  delights^  we  shall  find  our- 
selves mistaken.     Conclude  then,  that  affliction  is 

c  c 

194  tits,  saints'   EE9X   IS    KOT 

not  SO  bad  a  state  for-a  isaint  in  his  .way  to  resti  Are- 
we  wiser  than  God?  ^'Doth  hei  not  fcii^w- what  is 
good f  for  us  as  well  as  we  ?  or  is  he  not  as  cprefql 
of  our  good,  as  we  are  of  our  own?  Woe  to  us,  if  he 
were  not  much  more  so;  and  if  be  did  tfot  lovie  us 
'/better,  than  we  love  either  him  or  oui:!seives!('  vrjr 
^  9.  Say  not,  *'  I  could  bear  any  other  affliction 
but  this/'  If  God  had  afflicted  thfee  -where  thou 
canst  bear  it,  thy  idpl  would  neither  have  been  di«!- 
covered  nor  retnoved'.  Neither  say*  •"  If  God  woul4 
deliver  me  out  of  it,  I  could  be  content  to  bear  H/' 
Is  it  nothing  that  he  hath  promised  it  shall  work  ^jr. 
tAi/'good?  Is  it  not  enough  that  thou  art  sure  to  be 
defivered  at  death?  Nor  let  it  be  saidjii'^  If  Day 
affliction  did  not  disable  me  from  ray  duty,  \  co^ld 
bfear  it."  It  dd)th  not  disable  thee -for  that;,j^U!ty, 
which tendeth  to  thy  own  personal  benefit,  but  isrthje 
greatest  quickening  help  thou  canst  expect,  ^i  Asfor 
thy  daty  to  others,  it'  is  not  thy  duty  when  Gixd 
disables  thee.  'Perhaps  thou  wilt  sayv.  "  The  godjy, 
are  my  affli<;ters  ;  if  it  were 'Uiigodly  men,  I  could 
easily  bear  it."  Wibwever' ' is  the.  instrument,  the 
affliction  is  from:  God,  and  the  deserving  cause  tby-^ 
self;  and  is  it  not  better  to  locik  more  to  God' than 
thyself?  Didst  thou  not'  knowthat  the-  best  men 
are  stilt  siwful  ifl  part  ?•  Do  not  plead,  "  If  I  had 
but  that  dohsblatiion,  whieh  yoiii.  siy  God  rseserveth 
for  suffering  tide's,  i  should  buffer;  more  pootentedly; 
but  I  do  not  perceive  any  such  thing." '  The  more 
you  suffer' for  righteousness'  sal^,  the  more  of; this 
blessing  you  may  expect;  and' the  more  you-sdfTeir 
for  your  own  evil  doing,  the-  longer  it' will  be  before 
that  sweetness  comes.  Are  not,  the  comforts  you 
desire,  neglected  or  resisted  ?  Have  your  afflictions 
wrought  kindly  with  you,  and  fitted  you  for  cotHfort? 

TO  BE  EXPECTED  ON  EARTH.       195 

It  is  not  ttiiSenag  that  prepares  you  for  comfort,  but 
the  success  and  fruit  of  suffering  Upon  .your  hearts, 
^  10.  (II.)  To  show  the  unreasOnEJ)leness  of  renting 
in  present  6j^ojr(nent)»«  consider,— it  is  idolizing  them; 
*-^it  contradicts  God's  end  in  giving  them;— it  is  th$ 
way  to  ba«e  them  refused,  withdrawn,  Qr  inil>ittered; 
1 — to  be  suffered  to  take  up  our  rest  here,  is  the 
greatest  curse;— it  is  seeking  rest  where  it  iis  not  to 
be  foubd  ;-r-tbe  Creatures,  without  iGod,  would  aggra^ 
vate  our  mi9ery;^Tand  to  confirm  all  this,  we  may 
consult  our  own  and  others  experience. 
.^11.(1.).  It  is  gross  idolg^try  to  make. any  crea- 
ture, or  means j  our  rest.  To  be  the  i^est  of  the  soul, 
is  God's  own  prerogative.  As  it  ii?' apparent  idolatry 
to  place  odr  rest  in  ricjies,  or  honour^;  so  it  is  but  a 
ntorc'reiingd .idolatry  to  take  up  our  rest  in  ^xeeljent 
means' of  grace.  How  ill  Inust  our  dear  ]l>ord  t^ke  it, 
iwh^n  we  give  hio)  cause  to  complain,  as  he  did  of  our 
fellowt-idolatejts,.  il^  people  have  been  lost  sheep,  they 
havejbrgatteii  their  resting-pHace?*  *'  My, people  can 
find. rest  in  aiiy.' thing. rather  than  in  me.  They  can 
delight  in  6ne  another,  but  not  in  me.  .They  can  rcr 
joice  in  my  creatures  and  ordinances, .but  not  in  me. 
^iea,  in  their  very  labours  and  duties  they  seek  for 
rest,  butlnot  in.  me.  .They,  had  rather  be  any  y^here, 
than  be  with  me.  A^e  these  their  gods  ?  Have  these 
redeemed'  theni }.  Will  these  be  better  to  them  than 
I  have,,been,  or  than  I  would  be?"  If  yourselves 
have  a  wifS,  a  husband,,  (i  son,  that  had  rather  be  any 
where. than  in  your  company,  and; be  never  so  merry 
as  when  furthest  from  ybuj  would  you  npt  take  it  ill  ^ 
^O  must  our  God  needs  do. 

, .  §  12.V  (3.);  You  contradict  the  end  of  God  in  giving 
theae  xenjaym^itts.    He  gave  them  to  help.,  thee  to 
-        Jjer.  .1.  6, 

196  THE  saints'  rest  is  not 

him,  and  dost  thou  take  up  with'th'^tn  in 'his  stead? 
He  gave  fhfem  to  be  refreshments  in  tfey  journey,  and 
wouldst  thou  dwell  in  thy  iiln,  and  'go  no  X>li'ther? 
Jt  may  be  said  of  all  oui:  comforts  and  ordinancesi  as 
it  is  said  of  the  Israelites,  The  ark  of  the  covenant  of 
the  Lord  went  before  them,  to  search  out  a  resting 
place  for  them.'\  So  do^ll  God's  mercies  here.  They 
are  not  that  rest ;  as  Joh«  professed  he  wa^  not  the 
Christ;  but  they  are  voices  crying  in  this  wilderness^ 
to  bid  us  prepare,  for  the  Mikgdom  of  God,  our  true 
rest,  is  at  Aanrf.  Therefore  to  rest  here,' were  to  tura 
all  mercies  contrary  to  their  own  ends,  and  to  our 
own  advantages,,  and  to  destroy  ourselves  with:that 
"which  should  help, us. 

^  13.  (3.)  It  is  the  way  to  cause  God,  either  to 
deny  the  mercies  we  ask,  or  to  take  frotn  us  those  we 
enjoy,  or  at  least  imbitter  them  to  us.  God  is  no 
where  so  jealous  as  here.  If  you  had  a  servant  whoni 
your  wife  loved  better  than  yourself,  would  you  not 
take  it  ill  of  such  a  wife,  and  rid  your  house  of  such 
a  servant  ?  So,  if  the  Lord  see  you  begin  to  settle 
in  the  world,  and  say,  "  Here  I  will  rest;"  no  wonder 
if  he  soon  in  his  jealousy  unsettle  you.  If  he  love  you, 
no  wonder  if  he  take  that  from  you,  with  which  he 
sees  you  are  destroying  yourselves.  It  hath  long  been 
my  observation  of  many,  that  when  they '  have  at- 
tempted grestt  works,  and  have  juSt  finished  them ;  or 
have  aimed  at  great  things  jn  the  world,  and, have  just 
obtainedthem;  or  have  lived  in  muchtrouble,  and  have 
just  overcome  it ;  and  began  to  look  on  their  condition 
with  contfent,  and  re&t  in  it;  they  are  then  usually  near 
to  death  or  ruin.  When  a'man  is  once  at  this  language, 
Soul,  take  thy  ease;  the  next  news  usually  is,  Thmfooly 
this  night,  or  this  month,  or  this  year,  thy  ?oul  shaM 

Numb.  x.bSS. 

TO    BE    EXPECTED   ON    EAKTH.  197 

be  required, , and  then  whose  shall  these  things  be? 
What  house  is  there,  where  this  fool  rlwelleth  not  ? 
Let  you  and  I  consider,  whether  it  be  not  our  own 
case.  Many  a  servant  of  God  hath  been  destroyed 
from  the  earth,  by  being  overvalued  and  overloved. 
I  am  persuaded,  our  discontents  and  murmufings  are 
not  so  provoking  to  God,  nor  so  destructive  to  the 
sinner,  as  our  too  sweet  enjoying,  and  resting  in,  a 
pleasing  state.  If  God  hath  crossed  you  in  wife, 
children,  goods,  frieiids,  either  by  taking  them  away, 
or  the  comfort  of  thena ;  try  whether  this  be  not  the 
cause:  for  wheresoever  your  desires  stop,  and  you  say, 
"  Now  I  am  well ;"  tha^  condition  you  make  your 
God,  and  engage  the  jealousy  of  God  against  it. 
Whether  you  be  friends  to  God  or"  enemies,  you  can 
never  expect  that  God  should  suffer  yOu  quietly  to 
enjoy  your  idols. 

§  14,  (4.)  Should  God  suffer  you  to  take  up  your 
rest  here,  it  is  one  of  the  greatest  curses  that  could 
befall  you.  It  were  better  never  to  have  a  day  of 
ease  in  the  world;  for  then  weariness  might  make 
you  seek  after  the  true  rest.  But  if  you  are  suffered 
to  set  down  and  rest  here,  a  restless  wretch  you  will 
be  through  all  eternity.  To  have  their  portion  in  this 
life,  isthe  lot  of  the  most  miserable  perishing  sinners. 
Doth  it  become  Christians,  then,  to  expect  so  much 
here?  Our  rest  is  our  heaven  ;  and  where  we  take 
our  rest,  there  we  make  our  heaven.  And  ^vouldst 
thou  have  but  such  a  heaven  as  this  ? 

^  15.  (5.)  It  is  seeking  rest  where  it  is  not  to  be 
'found.  Your  labour  will  be  lost;  and  if  you  proceed, 
your  $oul's  eternal  rest  too.""  Our  rest  is  only  in  the 
full  obtaining  of  our  ultimate  ^end.  ^,  But  that  is  not 
to  be  expected  in  this  life;  neither,  is  rest,  ther^oreto 
be  expected  here.    Is  God  to  be  enjoyed  jn  the  best 

198  THE  saints'  rest  is  ifor 

ehurch  here,  as  he  is  in  heaVeti  ?  How  little  of  Gdd 
the  saints  enjoy  under  the  best  rtjeahs^,  let  their  own 
complainings  testify.  Poor  conaforters  are  the  best 
ordireinces)  v<rith6ut  Gtod.-  Should  a  traveller  take  np 
his  rest  in  the  way?'  No;  because  his  hoHie  is  his 
journey's  end.  When  you  have  all  that  creatures  and 
means  can  afford,  have  ytiu  that  you  believed,  prayed, 
suffered  for?  I  think  yoil  dare  not  sayso.  We  are 
like  little  children  straj^d  from  home,  and  God  i^ 
now  fetching  Us  home,'  and  we  are  ready  to  turn-  into 
any  house,  stay  and  play  with  every  thing  in  oxrr  way, 
and  sit  down  on  every  green  bank,  and  much  ado  thelre 
is  to  get  us  hoflae^  We  are  ilso  in  the  inidst  of  dur 
labours  and  dangers;  and  is  theife  any  resting  here  ? 
What  painful  work  dGth  lie  upOn  our  hands?  Look 
to  our  brethfein,  to  oui'  souls,  and  to  God ;  and-  what  a 
rfeal  of  work,  in  respect  to  each  of  these,  doth  die 
before;  us  ?  And  can  we  rest  in  the  midst  of  alhour 
labour^  ?  Indeed  we  may  rest  on  earth,  asMt  ark  i6 
said  to  have  rested  in  the  midst  of  Jordan;  a  short  and 
small  rest.  Or  as  Abraham  desired  the^n^els  to  turn 
|n,i  and  rest  thent^lve»  in  !>{&  teiit  j  'where  they  w6uld 
have  been  loath  to  have  taken  up  their  dwdlling^. 
Should  Israel  liave  fixed  <their  rest  in  the  lifKilderness, 
among  serpents^  and  eneiaagSj  and  weapiness,  andfa<- 
mine?  Should  Noah  have  made' the  ark  his  home, 
{and  have  been  loath  to  come  forth  when  ^Ae  wM&fs 
piere  oMua^ed?  Should  the  mariner  choose  his  d\vel- 
ling  on  the  sea,  and  settle  his  rest  in  the  niidst  of  rocks', 
and  sandSj  and  raging  tempests  ?  Should  aistildierrest 
in  the  thickest  of  his  €nemies?  And  are  not  Christians 
such  travellers,  such  marinersj  such  soldiers  ?  ^ilHV$ 
you  not  feat-s  within,  and  troubles  without?  Are* we 
not  in  continual  dangers  ?  We  canriot  eat,  drink', 
Bleep,  labour,  pray,  hear,  coovefse,  but  in  the  flmdsf 

XO  BE  EXPECTED  ON  EARTH.       199 

of  Snares;  and  shall  we  si^  down  and  Test  here?  O 
Christian,  follow  thy  work,  look' to  thy  dangers,  hold 
on  to  the  end^  win  the  field,  and  come  off  the  groufldj 
before  thou  think  of  a  settled  rest.  Whenever  thou 
taJluest  <Sf  a  rest  on  earth,  it  is  like  Peter  oh  the' mount , 
thou  knowest  not  what  thou  sayest.  If,  jnstead  of  teU 
ling  the  converted  thief, iAwrfat/  shait  thou  be  with  me 
WBjoararfue,  Christ  had  said  he  should  rest  there  upon 
the  cross ;  would  he  not  have  taken  it  for  a  derision  ? 
Methinks  it  would  b^  ill  resting  in  the  midst  of  sick* 
ness  and  pains,  persecutions  and  distresses. .  But  if 
nothing  else  will  convince  us,  yet  sure  the  remainder^ 
of  sin,  which  do  so  easily  ^  beset  us,  should  quickly 
sattsfy  a  believer,  that  here  is  not  his  rest.  I  say 
therefore  to  every  one  that  thinketh  of  rest  on  earth. 
Arise  ye i  and  depart,  for  thisis  not  your  rest,  because 
it  is,  polluted.*  These  things  cannot  in  their  nature 
be  a  true  Christian's  rest.  They  are  too  poor  to  make 
us  rich;  too  low,  to  raise  us  to  happiness;  too  empty, 
to  fill  our  souls  ;  and  of  too  short  a  contihuancej  to  be 
our  eternal  conleht.  If  prosperity,  and  whatsoever 
we  here  desire,  be  too  base  to  ntiake  gbds  of,  they 
are  too  base  to  be  our  rest.-*-The  soul's  rest  must  be 
sufficient  to  afford  it  perpetual  satisfaction.  But  the 
content  which  creatures  afford,  waxes  old,  and  abates 
after  a  short  enjoyment.  If  (3od  should  rain  down 
angels'  food,  we  should  soon  loathe  the  manna.  If 
novelty  suipport  not,  our  delights  on  earth  grow  dull. 
All  creatures  are  to  us,  as  the  flowers  to  the  bee; 
there  is  but  little  honey  on  any  one,  and  therefore 
there  must  be  a  superficial  taste,  and  so  to  the  next.-r- 
The  more  the  creature  is  known,  the  less  it  satisfieth. 
Those  only  are  taken  with  it,  who  see  no  further  than 
its  outward  beauty,  without  discerning  its  iaward 
*  Micah  ii.  Ifi 

200  THE  saints'  rest  is  not 

vanity.  When  we  thoroughly  know  the  condition  of 
other  men,  and  have  discovered  the  evH  as  well  as 
the  good,  and  the  defects  as  well  as  the  perfections, 
we  then  cease  our  admiration. 

^  16.  (6.)  To  have  creatufes  and  means  without 
God,  is  an  aggravation  of  our  misery.  If  God  should 
say,  "  Take  my  creatures,  my  word,  my  servants,  my 
ordinances,  but  not  myself;"  would  you  take  this  for 
happiness?  ,If  you  had  the  word,  of  God,  and  not  the 
Wbrdi  which  is  God;  or  the  bread  of  the  Lord,  and 
not  the  Lord,  which  is  the  true  bread ;  or  could  cry 
with  the  Jews,  The  temple  of  the  Lord,  and  had  not 
the  Lord  of  the  temple ;  this  were  a  poor  happiness. 
Was  Capernaum  the  riiore  happy,  or  the  more  misera- 
ble, for  seeing  the  mighty  ioorks  which  they  had  seen, 
and  hearing  the  words  of  Christ  which  they  did  hear? 
Surely  that  which  aggravates  our  sin,  and  misery, 
cannot  be  our  rest. 

§  17.  (7i)  To  confirm  all  this,  let  us  consult  our 
own  and  others  experience. — Millions  have  made 
trial,  but  did  any  ever  find  a  sufficient  rest  for  his  soul 
on  earth  ?  '  Delights  I  deny  not  but  they  have  found, 
but  rest  and  satisfaction  they  never  found.  And 
shall  we  think  to  find  that  which  never  man  could 
find  beforeus?  Ahab's  kingdom  is  nothing  to  him, 
without  Nahoth's  vineyard;, and  did  that  satisfy  him 
when  he  obtained  it.?)  Were  you,  like  Noah's  dove, 
to  look  through  the  earth  for  a  resting-place,  you 
would  return  confessing,  that  you  could  find  none. 
Go  ask  honour,  is  there  rest  here  ?  You  may  e^s  well 
rest  on  the  top  of  tempestuous  mountains,  or  in  Etna's 
flames.  Ask  riches,  is  there  rest. here?.  Even  such 
as  is  in  a  bed  of  thorns.  If  you  inquire  for  rest  of 
vi'orldly  pleasure,  it  is  such  as  thej  fish  hath  in 
swallowing  the  bait ::  when  the  pleasure  is  sweetest 

Td   BE    EXPECTEC    On    EAttfH.  20l 

death  is  nearest.  Go  to  learoingj  artd  even  t6  divine 
orditiances,  and  inquire  wliether'.thefe  yout  souls' 
may  rest?  You  noJght  indeed  receive  from  thesfe  ah 
olive  branfeh  of  hope,  as  they  are  mekns  to  ydirr 
rest,  and  have  relation  to  eternity ;' but  iii  fegard  &f 
any  satisftction  in  themselves,  Jfbi*'  Would  remain  as 
restless  as  ever;  How  well  might  all  these  answeir 
«9,  as.  Jafeob  did  Rachel,  j^m '/ w  Odd's  stead,  that 
you  e'ome  to  tnfe  fbr  soul^rfest  ?  ]*fot  all  ifhe  states  of 
men  in  the  World;  neither  court 'nof  (Jbvihtfy,  toWiik 
ttor  c'mes,  Shops  tot  fields,  iereaSiires,  libraries,  feolitude, 
society^  sftudies, 'ftbr  pulpits,  can  afFdrd'Any  sutfh  thitig 
as  this  rest.  "If  you  could  inquire  of  the  dead  of  all 
generations,  or  of  the  living  through' Bll'donrittion^, 
tJii^y  would  all  tell  you,'  "  Here  is  lio  I'fest." — Or  if 
Otnet  men's  experience  move  ycd  not,  take  a  Vie# 
of  your  bwrt.  Can  you  remember  th^  state  that  did 
fully  satisfy  you ;  or  if  you  could,  will  it  prcTve  lasting? 
I  belt^e  we  may  all  say  of  our  earthly  rest,  as  Paul 
of  oat  hofife,  If  it  'eo&rt  in  thli  life  only,  we  are  pf  all 
men  the  mioAt  miserable.  ' 

^  18.  If  'then  either  glcriptUr:e,  or  reason,  or  the 
experience  bf  ourselves,  and  all;  will  satisfy 
us,  we  may  see  there  is  lio  resting  here.  And  yet 
bow  guilty  are  t,he  generality  of  us  of  this  sin !  How 
many  halts  ahd'stops  do  we  make,  before  we  WiH 
make  the  Lord  out  rest!  H^wmust  God  even  drive 
Us,  and  fTre  tis  Otjt  of  every  condition,  lest  we  should 
afjt  doWn'and  test  there!  If  he  ^ives  us  prosj^erity, 
ticlies,-  or  honodr,'  We  do  "in  ■  Otit  'hearth  dance  before 
theh[^,as  tlielsi^elitfefe  before  their  calf,  apdsay,  Th^se 
ar'<*''i?A^'^(M*; -arid  conclude,  ii^  is  good  to  he  here. 
If  he  inihirtef  all  these  to  us,  how  restless  are  we  tiU 
our'QdnditfMi'  be'  ^u^'&tened,  that  we  may  sit  ^own 
agaiii,  and  rest  where  vve  Were  !     If  he  prbceed  in  tlid 

D  n 

202  THE    saints'   RESl    IS  ;SOTr 

cure,  and  take  the  creature  quit©  away,  then  how  da 
we  labour,  and  cry,  and  pray,  that  God  would, restore 
it,  that  we  n^ay.niake  it  our  re^t  again!  And  while 
we  are  deprived  of  our  former  idol,  yet.  rather  than 
cpnie  jto  God,  we  delight  ourselves  in  tivef/hQp,e  of 
recovering  it,  and  make  that  very  hope  o«r  rest;  or 
search  about !from  creature  to  creature,  to  find  out 
„  sprnething  .to  supply  th^  room;  yea,  if  we  can.  find  no 
supply,  yet  we  will  rather  settle  in  this  misery,  and 
make  a  rest  of  a  wretched  being,  than  leave,  a|l  and 
come  tQ  God.  O  the  cjuirsed  ave'r^^j^iess  ^  our  sonU 
from  God  !  If  any  place  in  hell  yv^ve  tolerable,  l]a^ 
soul  would  rather  take  up  its  rest  there,  than  cpm^ 
to  God,,  Yea,  when  he  is  bringing  us  ove?  to  hino, 
and  Jiath  convinced  us  of  the  worth  of  Jiis  ways  and 
service,  the  la^t,  deceit  of  all  is  here,  *ve  will  rathei? 
settle  upon  thpse  ways  that  lead  to  him,. and  those 
ordinances  that 'speak  of  Jiim,  and  those  gifts  which 
flow  from  him,  than  we  will  came  entirely  overitQ 
himself.  Christians,  marvel  not  that  I  speak  so  much 
of  resting  in  these;  beware  lestit  pj-ove  thy  own  case?. 
1.  suppose  thou  ajt  so  far  cpnviiiced  of  the  vanity  of 
riches,  :honour,  and  pleasure,  that  thou  canst  more 
easily  di'Sclaim  these,  and,it  is  well  if  it  be  so;  but  <hje 
means  of  grace  thou  lookest  on  with  le^s. suspicion, 
and  thinkest  thpu  canst  not  delightin  tjjem  too  much, 
especially  seeing  most  of  the  world, despite  thena,  or 
dieljghl  in  them  too  little,  I  know  they  n)ust,be  loved 
and  valued;  and  he  that  delighteth  in  any  worldly 
thing  more  than  in  them,  is  npt  a' Christian.  Put 
when^e  content  with  ordinances  without  God, 
qnd  had  ratheJ"  Jje  at  a  sermon  th^n;in^He^i3k,v^R,  and  a 
member  of  the  church  fiere  than  of  the  perfect  church 
above,  this  is  a  sad  mistake.  So  far  let  thy  soul  take 
comKjrt  in  ordinances, as  Goddothaccompaiiy  them; 

TO'  BE   EXPECTED    ON' EARTH.  203 

WHianbering;  ibis  is  nob  heaven,  but  the  firet-ftuits.. 
While  we  are  present  in  theiody,  we  are  absent  from 
the  Lord.;'atid  while  we  are  absent  from  him,  we  are 
absent  from'  our  jest.     If  God  were  as  willing  to  be 
absent  frotn  us  aa  we  frbm  him,  and  as  loathito  be  our 
rest  as  we  to  rest  in  him,  we  shduld  be  kftlBJb  an 
eternal  restless  Eleparation.     In  a, word,,  as  you  are 
'sensibleef  the  sinfulness  of  your  earthly  discontents,- 
so  be  you  also  of  your  irregular  satisfaction,  and  pray 
Gbd  to  pardon  them,  much  more.      And  above  all 
the  plagues  on  this  side  hell,  see.tha«t  you  watch  and 
pray  against  settling  any  where  short  of  heaven,  or 
reposing  your  souls  on  any  thing  below  God. 
•^19.  (III.)     The  next  thing  to  be  considered  ts, 
our  unreasonable  uriwitlingness  to  die,  that  we  may 
possess  the  saints''rest.  We  linger,  like  Lot  in  Sodom, 
till  the  Lord  being  merciful  unto  us,  doth  pluck  vs 
away  against  our  will.     I  confess  that  death  of  ftself" 
is  not  desirable;  but  the  soul's  rest  with  God. is,  to 
which  death 'is  the  common  passage.     Because  we 
are  apt  to  make  light  of  this  sin,  let  me  set  before  you 
its  nature  and  remedy  in  a  variety  of  considerations. 
As  for  instance, — it  has, in  it  much  infidelity.     If  we 
did  but  verily  believe,  that  the  promise  of  this  glory  is 
the  word  of  God,  and  that  God  doth  truly  mean  as  he 
speaks,  and  is  fully  resolved  to  make  it  good ;  if  we 
did, verily  believe,  that  there  is  indeed  such  blessed-^ 
ness  prepared  for  believers  ;  surely  we  ^should  be  as 
impatient  of  living,  as  we  are  now  fearful  of  dying, 
and  should  think  every  day  a  year  till  our  last  day 
should  come.  Is  it  possible  that  we  can  truly  believi^, 
that  death  will  remove  us  from  misery  to  such  glory, 
and  yet  be  loath  to  die  ?     If  the  doubts  of  our  own 
interest  in  that  glory  make  us  fear,  yet  a  true  belief  of 
the  certainty  and  excellency  of  this  rest  would  make 

SM  THE   saints'   RESI   IB   JBOT 

u«) restless  till  ©urtitle  t&'*  clearadi  Tiroughiihete 
is  much  'feitb  and  Christiaisiiiy  inuoui^  'i!iM>Q<tb9',^  yet 
tlrere  is  much  iiiffideUty!  aEiid  pagaiiisni  te  oii!D'\hearts, 
Wifeitth  is  the  oWef- cacfse  thai  we  are'so  loetH  totlife. 
— ilt  is  alsb'H»u<!h>owi,ng  to'  the  eoJddessof  bHD4o««fc 
if  wlBtevfe  our  friend,  we  love  his  oemjjany  jhis  pre^* 
sencei«i  comfortable,  hkafi^eiiee:  is  painfull:  when  he 
cemes  to  ufe,  wfe  entertain  him  withigladhes?  j  whew 
he  dies,  we  moura;  and  usually  Gveirmou*ni'  To  b©, 
sepEffated'  ft-oBi  a  faithftil  friend,  is  like  tsfce  rending^ 
member  fwom  our  body.  'A^Ad  would  not  our'de^ii^ 
after  God  be  su-eh',  if  We  re,a;l'ly  toved'  him?~"N8yf 
should  it  not,be  much  triore  than  sudjj  as  he  is  abase 
all  friends  most  lovely  ?  ;  May:the  Lori3  .ie^ch  ua  to 
look  closely  to  onr  hearts,  and  takeheied  of  selftdedeit 
in  this  point!  Whatever  we  pretend,cif  we  love  eithev 
fether,  mother^  husband,  wife,  child,  friend,  wealth, 
or  life  itself  more  than  Christ,  we  are  yet  none  of  Ms 
sincere  disciples.  Whew  it  comes  to  the.  trial,  the 
question  will  not  be,  ,Who  hath  preacbed  most.  Or 
heard  mostj  or  talked  most?  bjat.  Who  hath  loved 
most?  Ghpjst  will  not  take  sermons,  prayers,  fastings; 
BO,  nor  the  giving  our  goods,  nor  theburningow  hodies'i 
instead  of  love.  And  do  we  love  him,  and  yetcaVe" 
imt  bow  long  we  are  from  him  ?  •  Was  it  saeh  a  j«y 
to  Jacolj^  to  sefe  the  face  of  Joseph  in  Egypt  ?  and  shall 
we  be  contented  withSHt- the  sight  of  Christ  in  glofy, 
and  yet  say  Vpe  love  him  ?  I  dare  not  coTiclude,  that 
Vfe  hj^ve  no  love  at  all,  when  we  are  so  lidmth  to  die  j 
but  Idare  say^;  vvere  our  Ibve  more,- we  should  die? 
more  willingfy.  If  this' holy  flame  x^ere^  thoroughly 
kindled  in  our  breastsi,  we  should  ory  out  with  ©avid* 
As  the  hart  fwikieth  after  theimter-hro&ks,  sopanMk 
my  sold  after  thee,  O  God.  Mysonl  tMrMthfdr  ^hd, 
fov  th&  liviMg  God';  wheii  shaU  I  eome  and  appear 

TO  BE-  KXVECTED,  ON    EAHTH.  '205 

btfo^e  l^pclP^r-^By  our  unwillingness  to  die,  it  appears 
W!©4^epli,t!tl€  weary  of  sin.     Did  vve.take  sin  for  the 

*  greatest  evil,  we  should  not  be  willing  to  haviei  its 
c<HBpany,6o:long»  "  O  foplish,  siqful  heart !  Hast  thou 
be^o  so  l(^g .  <jf,  cf^ge '.  of  all  unclean  litsts,.  a  fount^i A 
WJCessai^tly^ streaming  forth  the  bitter. wa'tprs  <;>f  transr 

.  gression,  and  art  thou  not  yet  weary  ?  \y^retched  ,SQU.I{ 
b?i^t  thou  bi^en  so  long  wounded  in  aU;th(y  fapalties, 
so  grievously  ^SPguishing  in  ajlthy  perfowpances,,  so 

-fripitfi^l  a  soil  ipf  all  iniquities,  and  ^rt  thou  ,npt  y&t 
mor*  we^ry  ?  Wouldst  tjtipu.  still  lie  v^d§r.  t^^y  impef» 
fections?  Hath  thy  sifi.^proved  so  profif^blea  com* 
modity,  so  nqc^ssaryia  copipanion,  such  a  delightful 
eiupioyment,  tbat  thoy  doist  so  much  dread  the  parting 
day?  May  not  God. justly  grant  thee  thy  wishes, 
qnd  s0al  thee  a  lease  of  thy  desired  ,di§Hr?i<?!ce;froiaa  him» 
W4  9iml  thif  s'ars  to  these  t^oor*  of  misery,  and  exclude 
1:beeeternally  from  his  glory  ?"r-T-ItsbGWAthiat  we  are 
iftsensible-oi'  the  vanity  ofitt^fteiieatHiei  whffn  we  arff 
so^  loath  to  hear  or  think  of  a-removal.  "  Ahj  foeHsfe^ 
Wr^tobed  soul,  doth  evel-y  prisoner  groan  for  free- 
dom? and  every  slave  desire  bis  jubilee?  And  every 
sick  man  Jong  for  healtbi  , and  .every  hungry  man 
for  food?  and  dost  thou  alone  abhor  deliverance? 
]>oth  the  sailor  wi^bi  to  see  laodi?  Doth  the  biisbaiitd« 
map  desire  the  harvest,  and  the